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The European icon has landed in Vancouver.
Having never visited one of their many European locations, I didn’t fully know what to expect walking into the new Lumas shop in Gastown. The front window oozes an haute chic vibe with a bejewelled skull piece by Damien Hurst, but inside is one of the most inviting gallery spaces I’ve ever experienced. I am quickly greeted by the Gallery Director, Kathryn, who fills me in on the company and their store’s design.If this store doesn’t sound familiar, it’s because Lumas has just landed in Canada with its first opening in Vancouver. More openings are planned, with the next scheduled for May/June in Toronto. “The idea behind it is what you see on the sign”, she explains pointing to the store window, “The liberation of art. So to democratize the art market by having slightly larger edition sizes.” Kathryn goes on to say that by having larger editions, prices are more accessible for the new collector. With that said, there are still only 100 to 150 editions, so they’re still quite exclusive.Browsing around the main entrance, some pieces pop out as familiar work I’ve come across in art books by some of the world’s top selling artists, while others introduce me to new photographic styles. Despite Lumas’ portfolio management being based in Berlin, the store still represents four Canadian artists: David Burdeny, Michael Levin, Barbara Cole, and Ysabel Lemay. Kathryn adds that the collection is predominantly photography, through there is a selection illustrations and paintings.Paralleling a traditional gallery, the shop is divided into several ‘rooms’, each curated with a specific purpose. “It’s called the Art Collector’s Home concept,”Kathryn informs me, “Each room embodies a different part of the home, so we have a library, a living room, and a dining and kitchen area. The focus is more on how the customer imagines it in their home and how they can be more engaged in their living space.” By creating a hybrid of a gallery and retail space, Lumas aims to make art collecting a more accessible process. Not looking to fill a wall with a large format print? The shop has a large selection of smaller prints and art books to keep you inspired by photographic genius.After wandering down through each themed room, I am mesmerized by not only the pieces themselves, but also the shop’s ability to integrate the works into a home-like space. With something to suit every taste, it is the perfect setting for the emerging art collector. Three pieces on display by German artist Dirk Brommel. Gallery Director Kathryn explains the store concept is in the window: ‘the liberation of art’. The gallery features a large collection of celebrity portraiture, including ‘Anna’, a mosaic of female actresses accumulated to form a portrait, by Anna Halm Schudel.