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Art and Design Meet in River Oaks Home Furnishings Mecca — Inside Barbara Davis and CAM Studio’s Unique Collaboration

A True Magnificent Seven

BY // 06.19.20

The global fair brand DesignMiami has known it all along: The cross-pollination of art with design produces an inspiring dialogue as well as acquisition opportunities far beyond functionality.

Now Houston’s avant-garde design mecca CAM Studio is collaborating with Barbara Davis Gallery on a unique intervention within CAM’s home furnishings showroom.

CAM Studio speaks an international language of design via elevated brands such as Minotti, Porro, Wittmann, and Edra, many of which are designed by top-tier designers and architects (the Campana Brothers, Josef Hoffmann, Friedrich Kiesler, GamFratesi Studio). Barbara Davis is one of the first Texas dealers to exhibit at Art Basel Miami Beach.

Together, they are presenting seven contemporary talents, curated by gallerist Barbara Davis, in “The Magnificent Seven” (which runs through August 12 at CAM Studio).

CAM Studio owner/founder/director Carla Muñoz with California artist Mel Davis’ “Untitled,” 2019. (Photo by Krzysztof Kwiatkowski) 
CAM Studio’s Carla Muñoz with California artist Mel Davis’ canvas “Untitled,” 2019. The West Coast painter is being presented by CAM Studio in “The Magnificent Seven,” curated by noted Houston gallerist Barbara Davis. (Photo by Krzysztof Kwiatkowski)

“Barbara and I had an instant connection, as we both work from emotion and passion,” CAM Studio founder/owner Carla Muñoz tells PaperCity. “Her vision aligns perfectly with our lines and design philosophy.

“Design should tell a story. Art is the emotion that carries the narrative of each individual.”

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The featured artists are all painters, many with a sculptural component to their work, especially Eduardo Portillo and Joe Mancuso, whose canvases are in important Houston collections.

Also included are French-born Agnes Bourely, whose lyrical watercolors conjure plants, planets and places, and Italian Andrea Bianconi, who’s known for deft Surrealist drawings (represented here by a light box).

New York artist Lauren Luloff subverts the surface in her textile-informed work that exposes the painting’s stretcher bars, while West Coast artists Mel Davis and Martin Durazo respectively take on art history and add air to the pattern-and-decoration movement.

“I did this exhibit because the ideas within design and art are often the same,” Barbara Davis says. “I wanted to show that art and design can be equal in terms of thoughtfulness and timelessness.”

“The Magnificent Seven,” at CAM Studio, through August 12, 2020; 2800 Kirby Drive, The Shops at Arrive River Oaks. Info on the designers and global brands represented by CAM Studio go here  — for the artists represented by Barbara Davis Gallery check here

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