A Miami based contemporary art newsletter / blog

Jet Set Saturdays: Lead Apron Bookstore and Gallery


Steven Shearer, Mustang. Photo laminate and acrylic on canvas, 68 1/4 x 96 1/4 in. Photo: Allison Stewart.

I have a confession to make: I love love love Helmut Newton – the big boobs, long legs, and diamonds – ooh la- la! The aesthetic Newton cultivated, one of chic luxury melded with austere voyeurism, is alive at Lead Apron in West Hollywood. For Lead Apron the collector is front and center. Objects such as rare and collectible art books sit juxtaposed by Lichtenstein ceramics and African spirit masks. However, the Lead Apron bookstore is only half of the story. Owner Jonathan Schilder Brown has opened a new sister space across the street for the private viewing of artwork.  The spaces are situated across from one another on Melrose Place right in the heart of the WeHo arts district, comfortably positioned near Paul Kopeikin, Regen Projects and Chlöe.


Private gallery space.

For the gallery’s grand opening, Brown invited Patrick Painter gallery director Michael Briggs to curate the group show, Geography of the Imagination, in the bookstore’s private viewing space. Briggs is as casually elegant as the space itself. He looks like a handsome former Ralph Lauren model, rugged and blond. His familiarity with German painting has this gallerina contemplating the connections between Kitsch, Pop, and German Expressionism in a way that suddenly brings the work of enigmatic Andre Butzer into focus. The gallery space is flawless in its presentation, with stunning lighting and gorgeous ceilings. And the arena provides an airy backdrop to a gorgeous Bara painting, Abstraktion 17, as well as an edgy image by Steven Shearer entitled Mustang.


Bara, Abstraktion 17, 2009. Oil on canvas, 72 x 96 in.

Lead Apron’s moniker seems a code of sorts for the requisite thing an artist or artisan might wear, the requisite apron. This Jet Setter (final confession) is looking for a frilly little one to wear with my French maid uniform, which I suspect that Lead Apron would be happy to expose to me at any time. So, go ahead. Turn the handle and get intimate with their collection. After all, art and books are private and privileged objects, and these appointment-only spaces are both.

Lead Apron is located at 8454 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, CA. The gallery is open by appointment only.

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This post was contributed by Mary Anna Pomonis

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Jet Set Saturdays: Lead Apron Bookstore and Gallery