Natural and Neutral

With spring blooming before our eyes, we thought it might be nice to select some pieces of our inventory that liven our spirits and make us think of the fresh air, great sunshine, and blossoming trees.


One of the great things about classic modern furniture is the patina their wood accrues over years of love and usage. Simultaneously hearty and rustic, wood plays nicely in any interior looking to add a touch of natural to its design.

Arthur Umanoff is known for his wrought iron, delicate wood constructions. This serving tray displays his unique sensibilities with wood. Made of Taverneau wood with reed handles, it is a simple and elegant accent to freshen up your living room or nightstand.

The Cleo Baldon Stools combine rich leather, metal, and wood for an angular barstool with a little bit of personality.

This Edward Wormley Mirror designed for Dunbar features thick glass with a mahogany frame, all parts are original from its production in the 1950s. Wood simply does not grow like this anymore, making this a one of a kind addition to your home.

Not all wood has to be brown though, our blue Hans Wegner Rocking Chair has a stained finish, allowing the original wood grain to show through while still having a vibrant tone to add contrast to your interiors. 



Natural and Woven Fibers

Organic fibers like linen or wool can add a touch of soft texture and color without overpowering a piece of furniture. Fabrics can have a vintage or even historical feel, or be crisp clean and revive an interior with contemporary texture and color. This set of 4 chairs designed by Eva + Niles Koppel are an excellent melding of fabric and wood. 

This sofa designed by Grete Jalk for France + Daverkosen has been reupholstered in a Charcoal Grey Maharam Wool Felt for a modern, yet natural touch. The neutral tone can act as a ballast for the rest of the color story in your room while helping the natural beauty of the sofa's wooden frame shine.

These Chinese Mail Bags can lend a bit of refinement to your home's collection, signaling a connection between the eastern and western hemispheres with their French text. A beautifully preserved artifact with a strong history.

These Adrian Pearsall Wingback Chairs with Ottomans are one of our favorites. Reupholstered in fine linen, these historic pieces are one of Pearsall's best and stand up to the angular, sharp construction of contemporary furniture. Balancing its colors with a dark wooden frame and creamy fabric, this timeless furniture is a true collector's item. 


Ceramic, metal, or paintings can also lend themselves to naturalistic environments. Unlimited by the constraints of furniture, artworks can accent and round out the overall feeling of your interior.

Works like Power Shoulder by Ruth Azuiss Migdal take a powerful, earthy form abstracted from the body.

Amanda Gentry's You Are Here takes more austere form, yet maintains the careful handmade qualities of ceramics.

William Eckhardt Kohler's Listening Bird is a vibrant rendering of idyllic fields. One part fantasy and one part nature.

Loosely Painted After: Black Lattice is Lynn Basa's investigation into decaying forms. A vaguely rusty or wooden section meets against organic black and cream forms. With an eye for foreground and background interplay, this simple abstraction is quiet enough to compliment rooms but elegant enough to capture your gaze.

Matthew Ryan


The Overgrowth on the Bank displays Sousley’s skill of capturing light and creating movement in his work. Effortless brushstrokes and immaculate color choice compose mesmerizing scenes. Despite the movement, he manages a calmness and depth to his work that is unique. Leading a practice that translates sight to canvas, Sousley rarely sketches out his compositions before diving into the paint. Together these methods produce paintings of lush, impressionistic brushstrokes that reveal his cultivated intuition.


Focusing on the moment when architects were designing and building towards their visions of the future, Tom Judd’s paintings capture the uncompromising beauty of the grid. Harsh edges are greeted by curvaceous greenery. The solid surfaces of these buildings accept subtle hues of shade and light dictated by their adjacent walls or minimal roofs. The intricacies of these buildings are carefully rendered by Judd capturing a combination of their utopian elegance and bygone glory.


Risom initially used parachute webbing as a creative workaround during wartime material restrictions. This webbed design was the first of its kind, starting a revolution in how chairs could be made. By taking this strong webbing, bleaching it down to a neutral tone, then wrapping it around the chair’s frame; Risom innovated a way of creating long-lasting, attractive furniture from limited materials. In their original condition, this rare set of lounge and chaise lounge chairs with side tables is perfect for a collector seeking the authentic craftsmanship of these iconic pieces.

Matthew Ryan


With a focus on its production, Bailey Fontaine designed Lurch as a different approach to the floor lamp. Lurch evokes the glow of hot glass while it is being blown, and the precarity of glassblowing itself, requiring balance at each point to make the glass come out correctly. Made from hand blown glass and brass, Lurch has a custom electrical cord which gives it an midcentury feel with a contemporary edge.


Norman Cherner is known for utilizing postwar innovations in technology to design wooden furniture previously impossible. However, Cherner was not alone in the bentwood era. Ray and Charles Eames, George Nelson, and others were producing bentwood furniture of their own. Most designs, however, were fragile or relied on metal support structures to take the strain of a sitter’s weight. Cherner’s design stands out for its durability and elegance. Reupholstered in italian cowhide, these chairs offer a firm seat with a satiny feel. 


Camilla Taylor’s triptych entitled Time references both its accumulation of material and the process of making. Using offcuts of other works, Taylor adhered these pieces of paper in layers, much like the scales of fish. Her arrangement of color creates the illusion of a receding picture plane. This underscores the idea of objects receding from us in time. Featuring a subdued texture and color palette, Time is an artwork that would fit perfectly in most homes.

Matthew Ryan


































Martha Morimoto


The history of the wingback chair goes back at least as far as the 17th century. Its original purpose was to keep out the drafts of cold air while sitting by the fire. Since then, it has come a long way, and because of its unusual shape, many designers have used it as a chance to elaborate on their distinct forms. This Model 2231-C Wingback Chair with ottomans is no exception. Pearsall’s Atomic Age shapes beautifully compliment the wingback format. His fusion of traditional woodworking with dynamic lines created a timeless piece of American furniture that would look good in nearly any home.


Niels Bendtsen is a Danish-Canadian designer whose education traces back to Jacob Kjær, the designer of the FN chair used at the United Nations. Niels Bendtsen’s father studied directly with Kjær, while Niels apprenticed in his father’s cabinet making shop. Although Bendtsen’s design focuses much more on using metal and glass, it is easy to see the Danish tradition in his pieces. Tight curves accentuate a restrained, minimal design. Because he can rely on the strength of the materials, the table itself has thin, reduced parts that create an elegant structure that both frames and supports the piece. This table has been refinished in a vibrant fuschia that accentuates its futuristic character.  


Maura Segal is an artist working out of Los Angeles, California. Drawing inspiration from the contrasting natural and developed landscapes, she paints canvases that articulate these unions. The layers of Segal’s paintings are most telling, featuring a bed of hand cut pieces of paper that get painted over. These subtly collaged pieces are scattered like stray plants in the desert. Segal then paints squares and rectangles of various sizes to further cut up or distribute the field. On some of her paintings, layers of thinly cut paper are attached that mimic the flight of a bee as much as a network of highways and roads. These processes confuse the notions of natural and developed through their depiction of shapes. In doing so, Maura Segal has found a unique way to tap into her environment and unravel the strangeness of it.

Matthew Ryan


Wrapping his composition with frothy, energetic brushstrokes; Stanuga’s Sleep supports itself through the tension in its lines. Wide, rigid brush strokes of varying transparency connect across the picture to form spaces where washes of light grey and deep blue flow. Spindly, bent lines contrast a net of ribbonlike forms. Below them, converging planes overlay a foggy atmosphere. Stanuga’s refined sensibility from decades of painting is made clear in this work on paper. 


Often overshadowed by Kagan and Noguchi, Pearsall doesn’t get quite the same recognition for his groundbreaking designs of the 1960s. After selling Craft Associates to Lane Furniture Company in 1968, Pearsall went on to form Comfort Designs with John Graham. Drifting away from the Atomic Age design’s preference for free flowing wood and glass, Pearsall moved into solid, angular geometry consistent with futuristic styles of the 1980s. Reupholstered in vintage linen velvet, these two lounge chairs have a rich, saturated color whose linear forms respond elegantly to light.


Harvey Probber took on the second half of the 20th Century quite differently from Pearsall, focusing instead on simple geometric shapes made with elegant materials. While never stylistically approaching the forms that other avant-garde designers were interested in, Probber pioneered the concept of modular furniture. His furniture is carefully designed to interact dynamically with other geometries in both the room and furnishings. Some of his more iconic pieces, like the Cubo sofa, show how simple rectangles, stacked on top of each other, form an elegantly rectilinear sofa. This rosewood dresser from the 1960s operates on the same design principles. Masterful craftsmanship, alongside beautiful proportions create a simple, understated, but wholly beautiful piece of furniture. 

Martha Morimoto


Phil Mascione’s dynamic composition draws your eye through the picture with the angled lines of the building’s walls. He has skillfully positioned the camera to include figures on each edge of this photograph. A musician warms up in the background, a distracted boxing coach has a conversation to the right, and a discerning spectator eyes the boxer for the far left. Each figure in this photograph draws you back to the subject, the boxer preparing for his match. In a striking way, Phil Mascione manages to convey the drama of the moment in one frame.


The smooth forms of Lawrence Peabody are instantly recognizable. His rhythmic, elegant lines often give the feeling of a bend, rather than a curve. During his design career, Lawrence Peabody spent much of his time designing for the notable companies Kohler, Sears, Roebuck & Company, Richardson Brothers, and Boyd Lighting while also designing hotels in the US and Caribbean. However, his most refined, enduring work was made for the Richardson Nemschoff furniture company. This settee exemplifies Peabody’s ability to incorporate swooping, graceful curves into bold, well rounded design.


For this piece, Antonio da Ros worked with the Murano glass factory Ars Cendese. The factory itself is part of the rich glassmaking history of Murano. Glass production on Murano started over a millennium ago in 982. During the Renaissance, the production of new types of glass, most notably crystal clear glass, increased demand greatly. Subsequently, the skillfully crafted Murano glass was highly sought after by the upper class of Europe. The Murano glass factories survived the end of the Venetian Republic, starting a new push to develop the art of glasswork even further. Murano’s history of technical mastery in ornate, elegant colored glass shines in this Antonio da Ros sculpture.

Martha Morimoto
A Closer Look at As We Enter New Planes
  Standing Tall  by Ruth Aizuss Migdal, 2009. Stoneware. Photograph courtesy of gallery.

Standing Tall by Ruth Aizuss Migdal, 2009. Stoneware. Photograph courtesy of gallery.

   In Ruth Aizuss Migdal’s Standing Tall, a leg bends suggestively towards the viewer. In her early career Migdal was an abstract expressionist painter, and her sensitivity to the particulars — very much like a painter who very carefully places paint on the canvas — shows itself in the care and attention Migdal gives to exalting organic curvature. Her decisive hand is very apparent and steady. Very much like in abstract expressionism, Migdal has captured a moment and frozen it in time. Standing Tall is still and in motion at the same time. One could imagine the leg’s bending curvature to change any moment.

   Migdal’s work goes beyond simple physical representation of an object. Standing Tall stands as an image of unabashed power, unshaken by its environment. The gesture has been forever immortalized in stoneware.

    At the heart of Migdal’s sculpture is the twofold act of deconstruction and reconstruction. Separating the body from its usual unified context provides the basis of the language Migdal explores and scrutinizes. She undertakes the fragmentation of her subject to underline the gaps in the presence of sculpture. Separate pieces of cast bronze components are treated as puzzle pieces, which Migdal assembles to create new arrangements. She asks us to consider equally what is there physically and what isn’t there. Her work is as additive as it is subtractive.

  Scattered Floes  by Nicholas Kriefall, 2016. Oil on canvas. Photograph courtesy of the gallery.

Scattered Floes by Nicholas Kriefall, 2016. Oil on canvas. Photograph courtesy of the gallery.

     This sense of duality is closely examined in our autumnal show, As We Enter New Planes, featuring sculptures by Migdal and paintings by Nicholas Kriefall.

      Kriefall’s work approaches the mystery of this duality in a different way. He is reliant on the flatness canvas provides. He counters the limitations of flatness by applying multiple layers of thick paint, creating multifarious texture and depth as he investigates the mysteries of the natural world. His landscapes are not readily discernible. Extremely painterly, they are a departure from a traditional understanding of landscape. Kriefall hints at the suggestion of a horizon line in his paintings, but ultimately the eye has no real place to land. This creates a displacement for the viewer.  Instead of being reliant on recognizable representational elements, Kriefall anchors himself in the manifestation of feeling. He deconstructs in order to reconstruct. The viewer arrives at an external representation of an internalized feeling. Kriefall is constantly translating his feelings into something seemingly more tangible, concrete.

      In Scattered Floes we see mystery’s veil shrouding our vision. Kriefall evokes the experience of floating sheets of ice through a blend of white, blue and black. These are the colors of this scene happening in the natural world. The purity of the ice and the water underneath bring out a blackness when they meet together and turn into one. An impenetrable depth is created. The work speaks to the natural way of how things change, develop and in strange ways, come together as one.

   Together Migdal and Kriefall ask us to take a considered glance at the body and surroundings.

   As We Enter New Planes is on view at the gallery until November 12. The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 - 6 pm.

Julia Kulon


This hand blown glass vase comes from the internationally known Kastrup Holmegaard factory. In 1936, Otto Brauer was hired by Kastrup Glasværk (later known as Kastrup Holmegaard) as a glassblower. After 10 years of honing his craft, Brauer was awarded the title of Master. A decade after that, the Gulvase went into production. The olive green color is one of their most well known designs, and preceded the brightly colored versions. This Gulvase’s immaculate craft, rich olive green color, and untraditional shape make it a great contrast piece to other rectilineal MCM designs.


Debuting at the 1929 Salon d’Automne in Paris to later be re-issued by Cassina in 1965 this set of armchairs by Swiss-French designer and architect, Le Corbusier is truly timeless. Despite his avant-garde designs for his time, Le Corbusier made sure to prioritize functional logic in all his products. The cushions in this set have been reupholstered in a deep orange suede that poses a warm, rich texture next to the slick chromed steel frame.


Hand sculpted by a local Chicago artist in the 1960s, this wrought iron floor sculpture lends itself to a brutalistic approach in its design. The term brutalism, originating from a French word meaning raw, aptly describes the organic and textured nature of the craftsmanship present in this piece. The two eyes on the front of this sculpture bring it to life in a playful and charming way. This is an enjoyable addition to any minimalist home seeking to further its art collection.

Martha Morimoto


Small details - worn away paint on buildings, the shape of light coming through a window, sunlight on concrete, and painted over graffiti - are pulled into Jeffrey Cortland Jones’ paintings. These well-articulated, gentle, and patient abstractions allow your eyes to walk around their edges, their planes, and slowly reveal smaller details. Without screaming for your attention, works like Remits (Jersey Barrier) or Bookmark (Empathy Test) will capture your gaze with a pleasant escape into the everyday.


Born in Denmark, Jens Risom had studied at the prestigious School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen. It was after one year after Risom’s arrival in the U.S. that he met Hans Knoll, who brought their first designer to Knoll Inc. Now an icon of MCM design, the lounge chair has proven to stand the test of time through its simplicity and craftsmanship. We have restored Risom’s wooden frame in walnut, and have reupholstered Risom’s set of lounge chairs with our brindle hair-on-hide leather, sourced from our unique selection of fabrics. Take a look through our website to see other ways we have reupholstered Risom’s lounge chairs.


Designed for Calvin by Paul McCobb in the 1940s, this dining table shows McCobb’s playful take on traditional forms with hints of Scandinavian craftsmanship and International Style geometry. There is no superfluous decoration or ornamentation. McCobb had a very definitive vision of what new traditional design should be, this dining table is an exemplar of his philosophy. It is clean and sparse while remaining in elegant and distinguished taste.


Martha Morimoto
Exploring Herman Miller's Legacy
 A survey of Herman Miller catalogues. To the right hand corner is the famous hardcover product catalog designed and written by George Nelson from 1948. In the foreground is Life Magazine's article on Nelson and his Storagewall Design. It caught D.J. De Pree's eye in 1945. Photograph by Martha Morimoto.

A survey of Herman Miller catalogues. To the right hand corner is the famous hardcover product catalog designed and written by George Nelson from 1948. In the foreground is Life Magazine's article on Nelson and his Storagewall Design. It caught D.J. De Pree's eye in 1945. Photograph by Martha Morimoto.

   The George Nelson Platform Bench. The Charles + Ray Eames DCM chair. Alexander Girard's beautiful and colorful textile work. The Isamu Nogochi glass-topped coffee table. All of these pinnacles of modernism that put American design on the map come from one name: Herman Miller.

    It's hard to imagine the landscape of American design without Herman Miller. In 1923, Herman Miller was still the Michigan Star Furniture Company, a manufacturer of high-quality, traditional-style bedroom bed suites when D.J. De Pree, its owner, convinced his father-in-law, Herman Miller, to purchase majority of the company’s shares. Grateful for his father-in-law’s trust, De Pree renamed the company Herman Miller.

 Gilbert Rohde. Photograph by Luis Lemus. 

Gilbert Rohde. Photograph by Luis Lemus. 

  The company was still making bedroom bed suites when the Great Depression hit in the 1930s.  On the verge of bankruptcy, De Pree needed to revitalize his company quickly. On a trip to New York, De Pree was intrigued by Gilbert Rohde's vision of creating furniture better suited for the American public. This chance meeting with Rohde would be the beginning of the Herman Miller brand we know today.

   We recently visited Herman Miller’s headquarters in Zeeland, Michigan. The tour included a look at the premises and archives, the production of the Aeron Chair as well as chatting with R&D.

  History runs deep in Herman Miller’s ethos. Keeping true to Rhode’s original mission of creating better furniture suited for the American public, the company's past continues to inspire the present.

 George Nelson's Platform Bench for Herman Miller. Photograph courtesy of the gallery.

George Nelson's Platform Bench for Herman Miller. Photograph courtesy of the gallery.

 George Nelson's Slat Bench for Herman Miller. Photograph courtesy of the gallery.

George Nelson's Slat Bench for Herman Miller. Photograph courtesy of the gallery.

   Rohde died in 1944 and De Pree hired George Nelson to be the new Design Director after seeing Life Magazine’s article on Nelson and his Storagewall Design. Pinnacles of American modernism followed in the next few years, contributing to the canonical design movement, Mid-Century Modern. Nelson created the Platform Bench to be straightforward and versatile.

   Herman Miller’s primary focus of the 90s was producing the Aeron chair. In 1994, Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick designed this chair to be made out of 94 percent recyclable material. The Aeron chair created a revolution in the workplace. What differentiates this chair is its focus on good posture while providing lower back support alleviating the back pain arising from sitting in an office all day. It has no foam, fabric or leather.

 A peek at the  Living Office  at Herman Miller's Design Yard. Fabric panels and designs by Alexander Girard are sprinkled throughout the space. Photograph by Martha Morimoto.

A peek at the Living Office at Herman Miller's Design Yard. Fabric panels and designs by Alexander Girard are sprinkled throughout the space. Photograph by Martha Morimoto.

 Our set of Alexander Girard + Peter Protzman dining chairs designed for Herman Miller, c 1960s. Original upholstery. Photograph courtesy of the gallery.

Our set of Alexander Girard + Peter Protzman dining chairs designed for Herman Miller, c 1960s. Original upholstery. Photograph courtesy of the gallery.

    We learned about Herman Miller's on-going project: redefining the American work office. How we work and interact with one another is constantly changing. The office environment should be a reflection of these changes. Living Office is Herman Miller's philosophy of a high-performing office space which creates a free-flowing efficient work experience. The urge towards innovation works in the company's spirit of creating a better suited environment for the needs of American working class.

      Upon leaving the premises, we were gifted an unexpected present.

   In 1995, Herman Miller opened a new manufacturing facility in Michigan. Built in the middle of lush meadows and flora, the facility dubbed The Greenhouse was an example of the company's move to sustainable environmental building practices. In 2000, things weren't looking that great. Paper wasps, known for their aggressive nature, had invaded the facility. The flowers weren't blossoming as expected. In a last effort to save the wilting project and in compliance of the Greenhouse's no-pesticides policy, honeybees were introduced. Not only did they cross-pollinate the flowers, they also took over the wasps' main food source.

    A beautiful, unexpected by-product of their presence no one had considered initially? Honey. Our trip ended on a sweet note.

Julia Kulon
Interview with Hannah Perry Saucier

Our Associate Director, Julia Kulon, sat down with Hannah Perry Saucier about her solo show The Chip, currently on display at the gallery.

The following interview has been edited for clarity and cohesion. 

  Shapeshifting  by Hannah Perry Saucier, 2014. Oil on canvas, framed. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Shapeshifting by Hannah Perry Saucier, 2014. Oil on canvas, framed. Image courtesy of the gallery.

MATTHEW RACHMAN GALLERY: How do you think about landscape?

HANNAH PERRY SAUCIER: Everything is fragmented for me. I fracture things in my mind [as opposed to] seeing them as one, singular being. I really love the geometry I find when looking at things. I don’t always find this kind of geometry around me, but light and dark spaces are particularly suggestive of value—in my way of painting, I see similarities in landscape and portraiture.

   The newer landscapes I’m doing nowadays still have geometric elements such as a geometric sky or water, but [they are now] combined with more traditional painterly effects. I wanted to start blending the two together to have a juxtaposition of the organic forms with geometric ones.

  Current of Niangua  by Hannah Perry Saucier. Acrylic on canvas, framed. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Current of Niangua by Hannah Perry Saucier. Acrylic on canvas, framed. Image courtesy of the gallery.

MRG: I was actually wondering about the relationship between the organic and geometric in your work. Your paintings have very flat and graphic elements, but they are combined with organic and primal shapes.

HPS: I have a tendency to over-calculate in my work. Before I set out to paint, I sketch everything out and have everything set in place. The applying of color changes elements here or there, they will shift in the process. Nonetheless, I would be filling in my initial composition.

   I felt that I needed to find a way to break out of this tendency. One direction I took was to do one section of a given painting in a very solid, graphic manner while doing another part, like the trees and grass, in a very fluid and playful manner.

   Untitled is an example where the improvisation comes with through the forms themselves, although they retain their graphic flatness.

MRG: Your use of color is very bold. Your color choices make me think about how I remember things. I feel like because memory can heighten or over exaggerate the certain aspects of a given recollection—there's a certain brightness, vividness to those specific parts. Do your colors have any relationship?

HPS: Color, for me, is very intuitive. I dream in color; my memories are in color. My sense of sight above the other senses is much stronger as well, but I think, particularly, in the way I see colors.

   Shapeshifting is a representation of a past, present and future self; there’s three selves embedded within the landscape, and the landscape, in turn, is embedded in the figure. We’re inside the landscape physically, and the landscape is inside our minds. We’re perceiving it at all times. The present self is moving [in the work], and above the self's head there’s a little orb, containing a thought inside of it. The thought is red. For this one element, the use of color was very intentional. Anxiety of being in the present moment, moving through thoughts which can be stressful or painful.

   I use color in the way it comes to me. I try to balance color in terms of value and tone to create a sense of rhythm. Nowadays I’m simply drawn to colors. I mix all of my colors. I don’t use anything from tube; I mix until I get the colors I want. I’ll shift my colors a bit as I'm applying them on canvas, once I see how the colors are responding to one another.

MRG: What is memory for you?

HPS: Everyone has a plethora of memories, even a person who’s lived in the same place all their life is going to have a wealth of experiences, things that have happened to them. I’ve lived in five different countries in my life so far, and done a lot of traveling.

   This body of work comes from a sketch I made for a class where we had been prompted to make a self-portrait. At that point in my life, I was thinking a lot about all the experiences I had accumulated from living in places that were all so different from one another, and how, despite all of this, I was still one person. I felt very fragmented in certain ways. I would go into certain situations, and find myself in a certain role for a little while before having to shift mentally when going back to another culture, job, school.

    The work for the project was originally more symbolic. Made out of orbs, I had a figure connected together with lines. Inside [each orb] there was an image representing a fragment of a place I had lived in, or, a feeling I had felt at the time. It was a meditation into the relationships these fragments had to one another. Eventually, I turned the sketch into a painting where all these different orbs with their contained imagery became connected geometrically. I think all you’ve done or experienced in life is somehow always within you. Depending on what you’re focusing on or where you are, different aspects of your being are much stronger and present than others; but everything still is embedded in you somewhere.

   When I made the move from symbolism to abstraction in my work, I started thinking about how certain memories begin to fade. You either completely forget about them, or you begin to remember only certain aspects of the memory. The specific symbolism is gone; the forms become more and more abstract until, eventually, they are reduced to pure form.

  Eye of the Moon Storm  by Hannah Perry Saucier, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, framed. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Eye of the Moon Storm by Hannah Perry Saucier, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, framed. Image courtesy of the gallery.


When I made the move from symbolism to abstraction in my work, I started thinking about how certain memories begin to fade. You either completely forget about them, or you begin to remember only certain aspects of the memory. The specific symbolism is gone; the forms become more and more abstract until, eventually, they are reduced to pure form.


MRG: Does scale influence the way you work?

HPS: The truth, if I could, I would be working large scale pieces all the time. It's not always possible to be working on multiple, giant pieces at the same time with the space I have, so I end up having to work smaller. With that said, though, each individual [geometric] piece in each painting is a smaller piece of work in itself. The little details, even in their flatness, become their own environment.

    Untitled, Shapeshifting and Wiggle World (The World is Wiggly), mostly layered oil paint pieces, are all completely painted by hand—without the help of tape. Untitled has a bit of acrylic in it, but this is indiscernible because of the paint's matte quality. You need to look at the work very closely to see the little details of the brushstroke, texture of the canvas. In my smaller works, these details create far more intimate spaces. Whereas looking at Shapeshifting each fragment is much larger—there’s more going on within [that] given section. This creates a different experience for me and the viewer. When I’m creating smaller works, I’m more enclosed in them and with bigger works, the process feels far more physical.

MRG: A lot of aspects in your work suggest total control: you’re mixing your own colors, making your own frames. You stretch your own canvas. There’s a lot of self-agency in your work.

HPS: I think you’ve picked up on a big aspect of my personality, my trying to control things… which is why, (laughs), in my newer works, I’ve been making an effort to let things go, to make more improvisational works. The Wiggle World (The World is Wiggly) is reflective of my trying to let go. I had initially sketched it out as I usually do with my works, but in the process of filling it out, I started to create some impromptu forms— I was no longer figuring it out in a strictly mathematical way. •

The Chip, Paintings by Hannah Perry Saucier, runs through to September 17, 2017 at Matthew Rachman Gallery.


Julia Kulon


Take special notice of the frames of these lounge chairs, as Jens Risom was one of the first designers to bring Scandinavian design into American furniture. The rich plum velvet would serve well in a living room needing dark color.


Introduced in 1946, the DCM chair by Charles and Ray Eames is easily an archetype of American design. The seat and back of chair easily mold to fit the contours and angles of any body, providing comfort without the addition of upholstery. This design eliminates bulky detail and creates a smooth, elegant and versatile chair that is equally at home in a dining or a conference room.






Winner of Italy’s Compass D’Oro award for Industrial Design in 1979, Vico Magistretti’s Maralunga chair and ottoman set for Cassina is a striking blend of functionality and beauty. Magistretti’s chair features an adjustable backrest for two very different looks and comfort. The juxtaposition of the dyed cowhide and patterned cotton provides this set with a range of texture and a bold color scheme that makes for the quintessential statement piece.

Martha Morimoto


Designed for Knoll, this table showcases the power of a classic black and white color scheme. Oozing modern from the seams, this would be a great piece to add into an office or occasional room.


These chairs are reupholstered in shoe leather, the natural leather has a wonderful patina highlighting and showing imperfections in the hide such as scars and range marks. An ethereal and beautiful vintage look is born, and the orange color gives the chairs a modern edge.


Add a very historic work of art to your home! This print features a 10-cent postage stamp created by Peter Max, commissioned by the United States Postal Service, to commemorate the 1974 World’s Fair in Spokane, Washington. As an environmentalist, Max incorporates a seemingly spontaneous illustration of a landscape, in correspondence with the first environmentally themed world's fair.


Martha Morimoto
Spotlight On: Brynn Olson

Built on a love for creativity and a desire for visionary design planned with precision, the Brynn Olson Design Group (BODG) is comprised of talent from differing creative backgrounds who all found themselves drawn to the art of the interior.  Based in Chicago and serving clients nationwide, the BODG team takes pride in bespoke design curated specifically for each individual client.

  Photo courtesy of Brynn Olson Design Group

Photo courtesy of Brynn Olson Design Group

Trained as an artist from childhood, Brynn began her design career creating large-scale indoor and outdoor painted murals for commercial spaces and residences.  After attending Vanderbilt University and pursuing an academic-oriented career, her love for art and design re-ignited years later and she joined Nate Berkus Associates (NBA) in 2008.  She furthered her education in Interior Design at Harrington College of Design while working full-time with the NBA family and managed and designed projects for commercial and private high-end residential clients and celebrities featured on/in The Nate Berkus Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Elle Decor Magazine, CS Interiors Magazine, and Chicago Home + Garden Magazine.  She also assisted with development and rendering of original room designs for major publications and TV programs including Chicago Tribune, The Today Show, and Family Circle Magazine.  Her experience in the design process, project management and client relationships lead to the desire to open her own firm in 2012 under the belief that every environment should boast a timeless foundation infused with an edge that reflects the essence of each client.  Brynn’s credence, How you shape your space will shape your day,™ is the cornerstone to which each project is approached.  The power of a well designed interior is not only an immediate aesthetic transformation but also an incredible impact on the individual who lives, works or interacts with that space.

  Photo courtesy of Cynthia Lynn Photography

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Lynn Photography

MRG: You began your career as a painter.  When did you first realize you wanted to be an interior designer, and how did you make that transition? 

BO: It's a running joke that I tripped and fell into interior design but the truth is that when I reflect back on every life path I've chosen to present day all signs point to here and now.  My mother was my first art teacher, so I was constantly creative as soon as I could hold a crayon in my hand.  I pursued art intently up through college and opportunities of executing large scale murals for interior spaces presented themselves and I accepted.  This lead to me working directly with interior designers and witnessing, first hand, the affect altering a space can have on an individual and family unit. 

It really wasn't until I moved to Chicago a decade ago, though,  that I found myself heading to flea markets and scouring vintage shops at every free moment to furnish my Lincoln Park brownstone that really gave way to that light bulb moment.  When I ruminate back to my childhood in the South, it's incredibly apparent the heavy cultural influence it had on me.  Entertaining is second nature to Southerners and their vessel in which they can share these experiences is their home.  Therefore, as a Southern artist I began to view the home as canvas ready to be filled with beautiful forms that function on my journey into this career. 

Even though it took a big regional move to discover this ultimate path, interior design as my vocation has become personally meaningful as I recently lost my grandmother everyone lovingly dubbed as my twin.  She was a spirited and determined woman who grew up in Chicago during the Great Depression with very little means, but a staunch Italian spirit.  Into her adulthood she became an interior designer running her own business in the city and its as though I'm bringing a part of my heritage full circle today.  So perhaps, it could be argued that design is in my blood...  

  Photo courtesy of Brynn Olson Design Group

Photo courtesy of Brynn Olson Design Group

MRG: What are your favorite design trends you see for 2017, and beyond?

BO: While we tread lightly with the term trend having just returned from Market this year I can confidently report back on a few, fun recurring design patterns for 2017 that we're very excited about.  A crop of new businesses focusing on South African goods that are sourced responsibly were very present this year and we especially love the lighting made from horns and beautifully woven baskets. The use of strong gem-like geometric forms in furniture design is still thriving which is one of our favorites as we like to juxtapose that feature next to round and more soothing pieces.  Finally, the prevalence of taking abstract art off the canvas and onto other mediums such as fabrics and even furniture and accessories has been made possible through technology and is continuing to explode.  While our favorite kind of art is on canvas, we're really loving some of the new textiles using this artistic approach to create additional areas of interest in our designs with pillows that double as art.

  Photo courtesy of Cynthia Lynn Photography

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Lynn Photography

MRG: From where do you draw your inspiration?

BO: Inspiration is literally everywhere and I'm constantly pulling from all facets of life from my international travels to shelter magazines to even sitting in a local restaurant admiring the details of the interior architecture.  On a personal level I am greatly inspired by my roots of Southern design and inherently fascinated by all things Art Deco.  From a team standpoint,  I am constantly preaching that we're only as good as our resources and one of the most important resources we have as designers is our problem solving eye - spatially and aesthetically.  In order to keep that eye fine-tuned and sharp, it's incredibly important that we're sourcing inspiration daily.  Due to the power of Pinterest, we've been able to utilize the internet as an essential tool to find new inspirations to catalogue our studies along the way.

  Photo courtesy of Brynn Olson Design Group

Photo courtesy of Brynn Olson Design Group

MRG: How do you chose artwork for your projects?

BO: Art is such a personal item for our clients and we always start the process with understanding client tastes first and foremost.  The second most important driving factor is budget.  We love to educate, help and guide our clients on how to pursue and collect an art collection no matter where they are in the collecting game.  We love to dispel the myth that appreciating and collecting art is only for the incredibly wealthy or for a home with soaring wall space to display acquisitions.  We feel so strongly that art can make or break a room that we incorporate art in our design presentations to guide our schemes.  So, the result is keeping artwork in mind right from the start.

  Photo courtesy of Cynthia Lynn Photography

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Lynn Photography

MRG: If you had to be trapped in one decade of design, which would you chose and why? 

BO: As mentioned, I have a natural attraction to (almost) all things Deco from fashion and decor to jewelry and architecture.  Take me back to the roaring 20s and I'd soak it all in...

  Photo courtesy of Nathaniel Smith Photo

Photo courtesy of Nathaniel Smith Photo

MRG: As a designer who frequents Matthew Rachman Gallery, is there any piece of artwork in our gallery that you’re really into right now?

BO: We're big fans of Linc Thelen's abstracts and we've had our eye on his Lyrical Journey diptych for sometime.  This set would be an incredible asset to a space with it's rich yet soothing colors and textures.  If it were up to us we'd find the perfect focal wall to house this pair.  Perhaps, in an entry over a console with pair of beautiful X-base stools underneath or even split up and each hanging above nightstand in a Master bedroom for an unexpected display of color and layered sophistication.  

Justine Salva
Spotlight On: Marli Jones

Matthew Rachman Gallery is excited to introduce a new blog feature, called Spotlight On. Each month we will highlight a local area designer that we recognize for their exceptional talent, and give them the spotlight.

For our first Spotlight On feature, we chat with Rebel House Owner and Creative Director, Marli Jones, to discuss her early influences and current inspiration, behind her fresh, contemporary looks.


   Photography by Vince DeSantiago of NB.DY

Photography by Vince DeSantiago of NB.DY

Rebel House Interior Design is a Chicago-based firm that is quickly gaining attention for its unique talent for bringing art-centric, west coast vibes to the second city.

Specializing in couture environments, this boutique design house specializes in quality service - managing all details of each new construction or renovation project from concept through completion. The selective nature by which they accept their clients also allows them to ensure that each client gets the proper attention they deserve.

Before founding Rebel House in 2016, Owner and Creative Director Marli Jones started her career in the design forward city of San Francisco, where she received a master’s degree in Interior Architecture and Design with an emphasis in adaptive reuse.

Jones worked as a senior designer for prominent West Coast residential design firm Martha Angus LLC, before moving to Chicago, IL to be the senior designer for real estate development group AJ Capital Partners (AJCP). As such, she was part of a creative team that developed, designed, branded, and launched a collection of boutique hotels across the United States. While at AJCP, Marli also worked on the redesign of the rooftop bar J. Parker at Hotel Lincoln in Chicago and was the senior designer on the gut renovation of historic hotel Pontchartrain in downtown New Orleans.

Marli grew up in the art worlds of Chicago and Europe, and her parents are Atelier Neo-Medici trained photorealist painters. Her travels include multiple trips to France, Switzerland, and Italy to study fine art and architecture. Her exposure from a young age to a variety of well-crafted interiors sparked a passion for design.

   Photography by Harry Sudman

Photography by Harry Sudman

MRGDo you recall when you first realized you wanted to be an interior designer?

MJMy parents are professional artists and my childhood memories are filled with travels across Europe and the US from galleries to museums. An artistic profession was always in the cards, but as a design-obsessed kid, becoming a designer was my small rebellion. I took to my driveway drawing large-scale floor plans in sidewalk chalk. Around age eight, I started rearranging my bedroom furniture each week, pulling pieces into different combinations. A visit to the Lake Forest showhouse taught me creating an interior is not only art, but a profession. My mom started giving me shelter magazines to study. I was fascinated to say the least. I filled countless pads of graph paper with home designs for family and friends. To this day, nothing brings me greater joy than working with my team to craft a custom environment.

MRGIf you had to be trapped in one decade of design, which would you chose and why?

MJ: Is it cheating to say right now? There are many exciting developments happening in design as we enter the latter half of this decade. We are moving away from the fast fashion influence of the early 2000s. Antiques are back in favor and artisans are in the spotlight for mastering their craft. Designing with a mix of old and new is quite fabulous. I am so excited to see galleries and makers unite. Right now, furniture is art!

   Photography by Harry Sudman

Photography by Harry Sudman

MRG: From where do you draw your inspiration?

MJMy source of inspiration depends on the project. I am constantly digesting past and present design. A lot of my work is influenced by the years I spent living and working as a designer in San Francisco. West coast design sensibility focuses on pops of color and layering details and I have carried these characteristics into my work. I maintain close relationships with designers whom I’ve worked for and/or with over the years. We learn a lot from each other. This business is about pulling influences, knowledge, and the unexpected together to craft something new.

   Photography by Harry Sudman

Photography by Harry Sudman

MRGHow do you choose artwork for your projects?

MJThe experience of growing up around artists taught me choosing artwork is a personal process. There is no right or wrong answer and acquiring art can take time. I talk with clients about their goals for collecting works, introduce them to artists, and guide them as they consider their investment. Once acquired, art can travel from room to room on rotation (as it does in my home) and a vibrant collection can be made from a mix of budding artist works, to prints, to blue chip pieces.

  Photography by  Aimee Mazzenga Photography

Photography by Aimee Mazzenga Photography

MRGAs a designer who frequents Matthew Rachman Gallery, is there a piece of furniture in our showroom that you’re really into right now? What do you love most about it, and can you give us some pointers on how you might style it?

MJI have a major thing for sculptural furniture and your gallery does such a great job curating pieces to fit that bill. The Domus Lux Lounge Chair by Ilmari Tapiovaara is my current obsession. The warm wood tone, curved back, and petite arms are divine. It is a unique find – and quite comfortable!

As for styling, I’d juxtapose the wood chair with a contemporary chrome side table (as pictured). The warm wood and cool chrome offer a nice material tension.

Add a finishing touch with a piece of art hanging behind the two – perfection.


Check out more pictures of Marli’s stunning projects and learn more about what the team at Rebel House Interior Design is up to, at, or follow them on Instagram at @rebelhousedesign.

Matthew Rachman