Fourth Corner Conservation Framing

Best Framer, April 2006

Ask local artists where the best place to have a painting framed is, and they’ll usually say OTA House or Don Francis, venerable establishments with strong ties to the city’s troika of powerhouse museums: LACMA, MOCA, and the Getty. True, David Hockney put his imprimatur on Francis by designing the framer’s logo, and OTA House’s touch is crisp and precise. But ask the same artists—Ed Ruscha among them—where they take their canvases, and they’ll whisper Fourth Corner Conservation Framing (discretion is an art-world obsession—never give away trade secrets). No frame samples hang on the walls; no mattes are displayed. A few large, carpeted tables are the only furniture Todd Squires has put in his spartan shop since opening last October. The framed work is equally understated. Maple, walnut, poplar, and pine are the principal woods, shaped into plain rectangles and stained in naturalistic hues. Still less noticeable though more important: the moisture-free adhesives, the acid-free paper, the specially made “hinges” that hold a work away from all surfaces. The results are subtle. Pieces appear to float. “I love that people will be looking at my frame,” says Squires, the son of a lithographer, “but I want them to look at the artwork even more.”