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THE SCOUT

He's on his own

November 17, 2005|David A. Keeps | Special to The Times

WORKING at Blackman Cruz, the cutting-edge decor showroom on La Cienega Boulevard, unleashed Mark Rose's inner curator. Then chance put him in business. Last summer Rose, above, went to sculptor Alma Allen's Venice gallery hoping to add to his personal collection and left with the lease to the premises. He has since opened a stark white eponymous emporium, which displays Allen's sensuous biomorphic ironwood and granite sculptures as well as teddy bears dipped in tar by artist Mattia Biagi. "For me, form comes before function, everything must have a sculptural quality," says Rose, who also sells Cherokee peace pipes, vintage furnishings and pieces ranging from $25 quartz eggs to a $5,500, 1920s-era mirrored disco ball. "I want the people who come in to have an emotional response and to feel that they are not going to find these things anywhere else," he says. Rose is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday at 1225 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; (310) 399-0040; www.roseinvenice.com.

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SEEN: Preservation is still in the picture

At the opening night of "Utopia: Architecture and Architects," an Hermes exhibition of photographs by acclaimed Swiss photographer Rene Burri, Los Angeles Conservancy Executive Director Linda Dishman and actress Diane Keaton kvelled over a previously unpublished 1979 shot of a pool at Hearst Castle, with good reason. Proceeds from the sale of the photo go to Frank Lloyd Wright's 1924 Ennis House. "According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, it is the 11th most endangered property in America," says Dishman, above left, with Keaton. The $6-million first phase of restoration begins next year. Bids for the Hearst Castle photo, meanwhile, will be accepted for the run of the show, through Dec. 3. Gallery at Hermes, 434 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 278-6440.

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HAPPENING: Mediterranean magnificence

Crafted from meticulously inlaid bone and shell fragments, the 19th century Mediterranean decorative furniture known as Levantine invokes the intricacy of Moorish design and the bohemian luxury of Malibu Regency. Often imitated but rarely equaled, the brilliance of the Levantine style can be glimpsed at this weekend's previews for Bonhams & Butterfields' Architectural Furnishings and Decorative Arts auction. Along with the 3-foot-by-6-foot mirror shown here (Lot 4235, estimated to sell for $2,500 to $3,500), a chest of drawers and dining chairs with distinctive Levantine details will be on view. Other auction lots include Baroque iron gates, 19th century carved wood and stone fireplace surrounds, and 18th century French neoclassical stained glass windows. Free previews run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The sale begins at 10 a.m. Monday at 7601 Sunset Blvd., L.A.; (323) 850-7500; www.bonhams.com.

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FINDS: Multifunctional, mod for toddler set

With a logo resembling George Nelson's ball clock, Design Within Reach's recently launched kids' collection, DWRjax, is right on time. As furniture makers increasingly turn their eyes to the booming baby set, DWRjax has assembled a collection that includes Ducduc's streamlined crib for the minimalist mini-me, and the Hang Out baby lounger, a cantilevered bouncy chair that complements Harry Bertoia's wire chairs. The Scout's pick for best-in-showroom is the Trioli Upside Down Chair, $170, above. Made from cleanable polyethylene and equipped with a handle, it is the brainchild of Finnish designer Eero Aarnio, creator of the '60s Ball and Bubble chairs. His aptly named Trioli can be flipped for two different seat heights or laid on its side and used as a rocking horse for mod toddlers. Available at Design Within Reach and www.DWRjax.com.

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