The Secrets of Art Basel Hong Kong
Two Washington art experts share insights on Art Basel in Hong Kong.
April 22, 2013
View of Xu Bing’s exhibition “Word Play” at the Sackler.
“The Freer and Sackler [galleries] have a long history of exhibiting and contributing to scholarships on Asian art,” says Carol Huh, Curator of Contemporary Asian Art at the Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian Art. “The [museums’] depth of expertise, stellar collections, and scholarly resources on Asian art and culture can provide a very helpful context for understanding many of the works and practices of contemporary Asian artists.” When discussing Art Basel in Hong Kong, DC gallery owner Craig Appelbaum senses an affinity. “I see a connection between DC and the Asian market; both have a history of being underexposed to contemporary art and design, and it is exciting that it is changing so rapidly now.” Below, Huh and Appelbaum describe what is exciting about art from the region and what not to miss.
At the show: At the top of every visitor’s list should be the fair’s new Insights sector, a contextual and thematic presentation featuring work from 47 galleries throughout Asia and the Pacific. Also see the Encounters section, organized by celebrated Japanese curator Yuko Hasegawa, presenting oversize sculptural and installation works.
Local galleries: Appelbaum says, “It’s no [wonder] you see major galleries opening up in Hong Kong, like Lehmann Maupin.” Don’t miss the Pedder Building, where many of the blue-chip galleries like Gagosian, Pearl Lam, and now Lehmann Maupin are located. The Hong Kong gallery of London-based White Cube is just down the street as well.
Local institutions: The Asia Art Archive will host an independent program of talks during Art Basel in Hong Kong, as it did during the ART HK international art fairs. “This series of discussions addresses important issues affecting the art world,” Huh says, “and offers an opportunity for a substantive, informative experience during the fair.”
Mark Daisey Questions American Life
His piece at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre company tackles the reality of modern existence.
March 11, 2013
Mike Daisey tackles subjects from Disney to Occupy Wall Street in his newest monologue.
Monologist, author, and solo performer Mike Daisey incited controversy after taking a bite out of Apple mania in The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. Daisey’s revised run of the contested performance at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company saw a special appearance in August 2012 from Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, who participated in a post-performance discussion. This March, Daisey returns to the theater with American Utopias—a romp through Disney World, drug-fueled excesses at Burning Man, and our nation’s Masonic underpinnings.
Are there parallels between your most notable monologue, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, and American Utopias?
MIKE DAISEY: Aside from the fact that they are both stories about things I’m obsessed with [and that] matter to us in our time, I think they’re quite different. Agony identified a secret social ill that we all knew about but had a lot invested in ignoring [working conditions at Apple assembly plants in China]. American Utopias is a celebration of what community really means, a look at the messy nature of modern tribalism, and a vision of what our dreams mean to us.
How does Disney get wrapped up in all of this?
MD: Because if we’re talking about American visions of utopia, Disney’s dreamscape looms incredibly large in our shared consciousness. If you want to reckon with what dreaming means, and the commodification of dreams in our age, you have to talk about Disney. [Think of] animatronic presidents, absurd utopian plans to build a city of the future, and much more…. It’s a very rich vein of material.
Why do large corporations have recurring roles in your storytelling?
MD: Corporations are clearly the dominant social structure of our age: They are utterly amoral and have no feelings whatsoever—making them the most inhuman social structures ever imagined—yet we’ve given them immense power and now even recognize them fully as people. In an age like ours, what’s actually remarkable is how little we speak about the gods we’ve built.
Sounds like your work will push buttons again. Do you consider yourself an activist?
MD: I consider myself a monologist, a storyteller, and a working artist, though I don’t shirk away from the titles others choose to give me. Certainly all great art should entertain and provoke by turns, and I believe we all should be activists—the root of activist is “act,” after all.
American Utopias runs from March 25 to April 21 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D St. NW, 202-393-3939
photography courtesy of ursa waz
What's New in Real Estate This Winter
Washington real estate boasts remarkable sales and new developments.
December 17, 2012
It’s cold outside, but the local housing market is anything but chilly. With high-end properties actively being bought and sold, and builders revealing new plans for customized homes, area residents have quite a few options when it comes to deciding where to lay their heads.
Former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart’s Kalorama home, built in 1908, is a restored 5,038-square-foot townhouse with five bedrooms, three fireplaces, a lower-level au pair suite, and a rooftop deck. Listed on sale at press time with Washington Fine Properties (3201 New Mexico Ave. NW, 202-944-5000), Lockhart is asking $3,395,000—about $300,000 more than his purchase price.
Those who want custom homes without the work (and wait) now have more options with the unveiling of the Savvy Collection by Bethesda-based Sandy Spring Builders (4720 Hampden Lane, 301-913-5995). Busy but discriminating buyers can forgo the tedious process of hand-selecting individual options by choosing from high-end finishes and environmentally friendly features that are preselected by the expert design team. “You’ll get a floor plan and have options like bay windows and three to four elevations per house to pick from,” says Sandy Springs Builders CEO Phil Leibovitz, noting that buyers can also select from many exterior styles and materials, including stone or brick. The first 2,700-square-foot home was completed in early November and will be designed by Marlene Weiss in a modern style. Homes can be constructed across the region. The design and building process is much quicker than with typical custom homes, adds Leibovitz, noting that houses in the collection are built to be move-in ready in as little as six to eight months.
Three years ago Patricia Kluge asked $100 million for her Albemarle 45-room mansion, vineyard, winery, and surrounding land on the market—a property she acquired as part of a divorce settlement with the late media billionaire John Kluge. Flashy real estate magnate Donald Trump proved that he’s an excellent negotiator when he purchased the final piece of Kluge’s Charlottesville estate in September at a can’t-be-beat price. After buying the winery, vineyard, and much of the land about a year ago for $6.2 million (this figure does not account for equipment and inventory), Trump went on to negotiate with mortgage holder Bank of America for about a year before snapping up the home for $6.5 million. The 23,000-square foot residence features a private chapel, helicopter landing pad, and a 3,500-bottle wine cellar. Trump is reportedly still deciding on his plans for the estate, but possibilities include turning it into a golf course or an elegant inn, or selling the house along with some of the land and holding on to the operational vineyard, currently run by his son, Eric Trump.
photography by MBK Photography (savvy collection); getty images (trump); matt allen (kalorama)
Charity Register: December-February
Opportunities to give.
December 03, 2012
St. Jude Gourmet Gala.
ST. JUDE GOURMET GALA
The Cause: Advances cures and the prevention of catastrophic pediatric diseases through research and treatment.
Founder: Danny Thomas
How to Help: Taste some of DC’s finest cuisine from area restaurants and bid in a silent auction at the largest St. Jude event in DC on February 12 from 5:30 to 9:30pm. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW, 703-677-4412
GREATER WASHINGTON REGION HEART BALL
The Cause: A national voluntary health agency dedicated to building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and strokes.
Founders: Six cardiologists: Drs. Lewis A. Conner and Robert H. Halsey of New York, Paul D. White of Boston, Joseph Sailer of Philadelphia, Robert B. Preble of Chicago, and Hugh D. McCulloch of St. Louis.
How to Help: Purchase tickets to the black-tie 2013 Greater Washington Region Heart Ball on February 23 from 6:30pm to midnight at the National Building Museum. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW, 703-248-1787
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF WASHINGTON CENTENNIAL GALA
The Cause: Promotes literacy in the Greater Washington area by providing age-appropriate books in homes, classrooms, and libraries, and by reading aloud to children.
Founder: Elizabeth Noyes
How to Help: The Centennial Celebration Gala takes place on February 9. Proceeds benefit the JLW’s Centennial Signature Project—JLW Resolution Read—that promotes literacy. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW, 202-337-2001
2012 HOLIDAY CHARITY BASH
The Cause: The American Small Business Coalition partners with American Freedom Foundation to support military men, women, and their families. The event benefits injured and disabled veterans, funds education programs for children of military families, and provides outpatient care.
Founders: Guy Timberlake and his wife, Margaret Timberlake
How to Help: Attend the networking and fundraising event at the Iris Lounge in Tysons Corner on December 5 from 6 to 9pm and bid in the silent auction whose highlights include items from the Crime Museum, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and the American Visionary Art Museum. Iris Lounge, 1524 L-M Spring Hill Road, McLean; 800-422-4960
Phillips Collection Director on Art Basel
Dorothy Kosinski, The Phillips Collection director, muses on Art Basel, art buying, and the DC scene.
October 22, 2012
A former curator of the Kunstmuseum Basel, Dorothy Kosinski now heads The Phillips Collection in DC.
Some believed Miami to be an unlikely home for a world-class contemporary art fair like Art Basel, but the city has proven to be the ideal location. Why do you think Miami makes such a great backdrop for an art fair?
DOROTHY KOSINSKI: I think many of us were dubious [about] the idea of exporting Basel to Miami, but clearly people had worked through a great business model and had thought through the importance of the South American market. Miami is a beautiful setting for all of this art business—the lovely, restored Art-Deco South Beach, as well as the ocean.
Given that The Phillips Collection contains a large quantity of modern art, are you personally interested in contemporary art shown in Miami? The museum has acquired some newer work, such as pieces by Sean Scully and Susan Rothenberg, but is The Phillips actively building a formidable contemporary collection?
DK: The Phillips has very limited funding in general, and for acquisitions, in particular. We are committed, however, to keeping The Phillips vital in today’s conversation. Last year, we admired Leo Villareal’s Scramble, an LED piece inspired by his discussion with Frank Stella as part of a symposium at The Phillips in 2011. We were convinced of its importance, and we managed to purchase it this year. Recently you probably read about our commission of a wax room by Wolfgang Laib, which we hope to accomplish in early 2013.
Describe the art scene and community in Washington.
DK: There are, of course, great museums in DC. There are great collectors as well, many of them rather private. We at The Phillips are eager to help foster the collecting community. I do wish for a more robust ecology of galleries in DC, however. We have some great galleries, but the more active the market, the better for everyone. I wish collectors in DC would invest more in the future of a distinguished museum like The Phillips—one that is not supported by tax dollars but deeply beloved locally, nationally, and internationally. We need to make sure that The Phillips can continue to do its important work for many future generations.
Transitioning from Traditional to Modern
Owner of fashion and furniture store Muléh, explains the transition from traditional to modern home design.
September 05, 2012
Lounge in luxury with Muléh’s Cabaret sofa.
Christopher Reiter, owner of fashion and furniture store Muléh, explains the transition from traditional to modern interior design.
“It’s a simple process. Integrating organic materials in a rich palette of neutral tones can bring a refined and modern component to any mix. It’s an elegant look, and one anyone can appreciate regardless of his or her preferred style.”
Top Trainer Talks Bride Fit Regimen
Sports Club/LA-Washington trainer on making a fitness commitment before your wedding day.
May 07, 2012
The Sports Club/LA-Washington’s Anna Wielkoszewski discusses making a fitness commitment.
How do you help brides-tobe achieve their goals?
I have developed a unique training program that helps each bride lose weight and tone without having to plan out what to do on her own. Most bridal training programs challenge a bride for only a few hours a week, and a bride is left to figure out what cardio or strength training to do, or how to improve her nutritional habits. Bride Fit is a comprehensive program that allows women to enjoy being engaged. 1170 22nd St. NW; 202-974-6600
Interior Designer on Decorating a Dream Office
Ambi Design Studio owner reveals how to create a true power office.
May 07, 2012
How do you create a power office look?
A seating group is a must for casual pull-ups. This is even more important than a small conference table. I recently added a leather recliner to an office for a lawyer who works long hours so that he can read his briefs in comfort. And don’t forget to add some life to your office with green plants or flowers. 703-597-8401
Bringing Producing & PR Experience to Real Estate
A producer-turned-realtor reveals the unique art of selling to the most powerful people in the country.
April 30, 2012
Evermay, sold by Washington Fine Properties last year for $22 million
Washington Fine Properties' Tricia Messerschmitt (202-330-2275) may be a power broker at the top of her game, but she didn't start off her career selling homes. A former producer for CNN and director of public relations for the Four Seasons here in DC, Messerschmitt comes armed with extensive communications and public relations experience, bringing a high level of efficiency and discretion to her work on Washington's realty scene.
What trends are you seeing in local sales, and what neighborhoods are hot sells right now?
TRICIA MESSERSCHMITT: What we're seeing a lot of now is empty nesters selling their big homes in the suburbs and downsizing to new condominiums in downtown Washington. And it's not one specific neighborhood; the entire city seems to be energized, from Friendship Heights to Logan Circle to Mount Vernon/Penn Quarter and Capitol Hill. Our biggest challenge is that there are not enough good homes for sale to meet the demand.
When working with Washington power players who are looking to buy a home, what tips do you offer?
TM: We establish their parameters: What is the lifestyle they're looking for, urban hip or country club? Are there children, and where will they go to school? How close to work can you afford to be? Once we have a sense of the desired lifestyle, we can start the process and introduce new clients to an array of choices.
Where do you see the 2012 Washington real estate market headed?
TM: We are optimistic about the current and future markets. We have seen a normalization of the pace of the market since the wild ups and downs of the past decade. There is not likely to be a repeat of either of those extremes anytime soon. Washington is one of only a small handful of cities where prices are stable. DC residents are generally bullish on the economy; there is good optimism here. And since we know that 85 percent of our buyers already live or own property here, we have every reason to feel positive about the future.
Wedding Decor Inspired by Cherry Blossoms
An exquisite springtime wedding venue heralds the start of a new season, in full bloom.
March 26, 2012
For world-renowned Washington event planner Sandi Hoffman, any wedding is an undertaking. But handling the wedding of her own daughter meant knocking it out of the park. “We worked on this for 18 months,” says Hoffman of last April’s nuptials of her daughter, Jamie Berkelhammer, and her son-in-law, Austin. “We went through at least four designs until we landed on this one.” Every detail of the wedding, held at The Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown, was a feast for the eyes, including the transformation of a wide foyer outside the ballroom area into this floral fantasyland, complete with 14,000 stems of silk cherry blossoms hanging from the ceiling and a blush-pink carpet. “I had never used a fake flower before this,” explains Hoffman, who along with fellow designer Mark Chaikowski and her design director, Myron Wolman, created a stunning atmosphere of elegance and style, mixed with the bride’s penchant for shabby chic, lace, and soft vintage romance. “It took us three days to load in,” says Wolman. “We re-covered all the flooring, from the bottom of the lobby stairs through the entire event space.” But it was the cherry blossoms, shipped from a vendor in China, that most conveyed the exquisiteness of the evening. “We made a mock-up of what they would look like in my kitchen,” says Hoffman. “We covered the hanging pot rack to see how they would fall from above, in order to get the right look.” For cohesiveness and full-on dreamlike grandeur, the walls on the left and right of the ceremony space were covered in real moss, another over-the-top touch. “You almost felt like you were in a beautiful greenhouse.” Three hundred guests marveled at the sight of the perfect posh Washington wedding, lush with romance and complete with the blossoms that define our fair city each spring. Sandi Hoffman Special Events. The Four Seasons Hotel, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GEOFF CHESMAN VISUALS
Celebrating the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner at Carnegie Library.