Phillip K. Smith III's "Portal 6" commands attention in the living room, which includes Afra and Tobia Scarpa–designed Soriana lounge and side chairs for Cassina and a Pierre Chapo “eye” coffee table. Gisela Colón’s 8-foot-tall “Parabolic Monolith (Polaris)” towers in the distance.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY PETER BLAKE GALLERY
Architect William F. Cody built his family home in Palm Springs in the prevailing spirit of the postwar period — a steel-framed modern structure with large glass areas that open to gardens, patios, and an atrium and allow natural light to beam through at different angles throughout the day.
The residence was completed and published in the professional journal Arts & Architecture in 1952. Seventy years later, Spanish architects Paula Bueso-Inchausti and Guille Castaneda, the husband-and-wife principals of the Palm Desert design-build firm Nomos RED, purchased the house through real estate agent Keith Markovitz, of TTK Represents, a collector of minimalist art who thought the home’s glass-enclosed spaces would be a perfect setting for light and space art.
Artists who work in light and space, an art movement that began in the late-1960s in Southern California, use industrial materials such as polyester resin, cast acrylic, and glass to explore questions of perception. Whether by directing the flow of natural light or embedding artificial light within objects or architecture, works by these artists elicit a heightened sensory awareness.
“We not only did the art in the house, but also the collectible design,” he continues, noting that the reductive and minimalist art in his gallery program show perfectly with modernist aesthetics. The furniture he selected for the Cody house “surveys modern design from the 1930s until the early ’70s, from Bahaus to the end of modernism, and covers all major parts of the world — Brazil, Italy, France, Denmark.”
In the office, Smith’s 6-foot-long “Lozenge 6 Horizontal” glows from behind a 1940s art moderne walnut desk with bridge armchairs by André Sornay. Off the kitchen, Antoine Phillipon and Jacqueline Lecoq “Model P60 Chairs” upholstered in Dedar Milano fabric surround the designers’ dining table. “These are French modernists, and their work is extremely minimal,” Blake says, noting he added the Gio Ponti silverware and Carl Auböck salt and pepper shakers. On the wall, he placed Colón’s blow-molded acrylic “Liquid Triangle” to preside over room.