Located on the 40th floor of the recently opened Fifteen Fifty residential building in San Francisco that was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is a model penthouse exhibiting an eclectic selection of collectible design curated by Galerie Gabriel et Guillaume – the travelling collectible design gallery’s latest showcase and its first venture in the West Coast.
Run by Lebanese and French duo Nancy Gabriel and Guillaume Excoffier – who founded the gallery in 2013 – Galerie Gabriel et Guillaume has hosted several exhibitions between Beirut and Paris, as well as a show last year in New York at 111 W 57. Utilising a different landmark location each time, these temporary spaces act as ephemeral design galleries, showcasing the duo’s diverse selection of rare, museum-quality furnishings that range from vintage pieces to contemporary designs.
“Our choice of location is always coherent with our content – it carries the same values. So, it’s always a form of storytelling,” says Gabriel.
The 158-square metre three-bedroom penthouse chosen for the latest exhibition in San Francisco features original mid-century modern furniture from the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s from Brazil, Italy and France, juxtaposed with contemporary furnishings and artworks from France, Italy and Lebanon – including pieces by David/Nicolas and Namika Atelier. This eclectic manner of mixing eras and modern forms with contemporary pieces in daring, bold colours has become a feature one looks forward to with Galerie Gabriel et Guillaume; a style that is a signature of the way the duo curates its content to convey a living space of an imaginary modern-day collector. “While we share the same taste, we also always trust each other’s taste,” Excoffier says. “We also share a passion for mixing pieces in an eclectic way; pieces that you would rarely see together.”
And while the majority of these pieces find their roots in Europe and Brazil, it is equally important for the gallery to shed light on the talent hailing from Lebanon.
“When we went to New York for the exhibition we thought it made sense to ‘export’ the work of some Lebanese designers. Besides the fact that Lebanese designers are very talented, they also have very strong craftsmanship skills, and we are very much interested in this craftsmanship.”
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