Space of the Week: An Art-Filled Abode for a Son of Hollywood

Film, TV, and theater director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (Let It Be, Brideshead Revisited, The Normal Heart) has been involved with some of the most indelible artistic talents of the last half-century. (And that’s without mentioning Orson Welles, long rumored to be Michael’s biological father, a rumor neither quashed nor confirmed by his mother, the great Irish actress Geraldine Fitzgerald.) Yet as his compulsively readable new memoir, Luck and Circumstance (out this week from Alfred A. Knopf), demonstrates, Michael remains as lively a character as any of his compatriots. Writer Marc Kristal recently went to visit Michael and his wife, Lisa, in their “faux-Normandy”-style home in West Hollywood, a riotous curiosity shop filled with artworks (including dozens of his own), objects precious and quotidian, and countless touchstones from the couple’s rich, peripatetic lives.

A wax-on-chicken-wire sculpture entitled “Dork” by Lisa’s daughter Jane Moseley stands in the corner of the living/dining room beside a camel discovered in a local gallery. “When you plug it in and throw a switch, the head moves,” says Michael. Among the artworks is his drawing of the painter Francis Bacon, a friend from the director’s years in London. Photo: Marc Kristal

Along the mantelpiece in the living/dining room are a series of Lindsay-Hogg’s “characters”“the cores of paper-towel and toilet-paper rolls, repurposed with paint and colored pencil. The director discovered Life Is a Game of Chess, featuring a nun’s head on a game board, at L.A.’s Fat Chance gallery, a frequent haunt. Lisa found the figure of silent-film cowboy William S. Hart”missing his gun hand, alas”at a flea market. Photo: Marc Kristal

The “wave” desk, which dates from the sixties, was uncovered at the Los Angeles gallery Blackman Cruz; the wood-and-plastic lamp, which resembles an architect’s model, comes from Fat Chance. On the lower shelf, an African candelabrum made from juice cans. Photo: Marc Kristal

Merinos Male, an artwork by Jean-François Fourtou found at the Galerie Vallois in Paris, hangs in the sitting room. The sheep’s body is formed from rope; the head is papier-mâché. Photo: Marc Kristal

A Fortuny lamp, purchased in Venice, hangs in the foyer; directly to its right is a suspended dollhouse, another flea-market find. The rug in the foreground is Brazilian; the French starburst-patterned carpet beyond it was bought in Palm Springs. Atop the cabinet on the living/dining room’s far wall is a vintage Paul Laszlo table lamp, one of a pair. Photo: Marc Kristal

Artworks in the sitting room include a forties painting of Michael’s mother by the artist and set designer Eugene Berman (center left); Philippe Morotti’s photo of a Havana boxer (above the Berman); a French-language poster for Three Strangers (1946), which co-starred Fitzgerald, a gift from the actress Illeana Douglas; and, behind the stair rail, a drawing by the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Photo: Marc Kristal

Though Michael, a self-taught artist, has nine canvases on display in the Los Angeles International Art Fair, opening this week, “I can’t paint,” he says. “I start from photos and postcards, and the pictures morph and remorph until they seem finished.” Above the painting studio’s sofa (with its pair of vintage motorboat flotation cushions), a selection of his work. Photo: Marc Kristal

The French metal-and-wood light fixture in the foyer, from Blackman Cruz, hangs above Like This, Like That, by Duncan Hannah, purchased in Miami; the bear, above it, comes from L.A.’s La Luz de Jesus gallery. To the left of the postcards, a caricature of Fitzgerald from the forties. Photo: Marc Kristal

Michael the painter is well represented in the foyer, with three lower-tier artworks (the flowers, painted on tin, come from the L.A. gallery Pom Pom). He found the big dice on the Saarinen table at Off the Wall, several blocks from his home on Melrose Avenue. Photo: Marc Kristal

The oversize papier-mâché snail, also by Jean-François Fourtou, is creepily realistic”down to the plastic slime it leaves on the foyer’s ceiling. Photo: Marc Kristal

Tina Fortenberry, a longtime friend of the Lindsay-Hoggs, gave the famously cigar-loving Michael the stogie-shaped lamp above the door connecting the foyer and kitchen. (A fish-shaped metal bowl from Mexico serves as an ashtray.) Photo: Marc Kristal

Space of the Week: An Art-Filled Abode for a Son […]