September 19, 2013
Courtesy of Anya Hindmarch
For handbag and accessories designer Anya Hindmarch, opening her new flagship on Madison Avenue in New York meant much more than simply filling a room with inventory. “I want people to feel comfortable, curious and loved!” exclaims the British designer, whose first store on London’s Walton Street, opened in 1987, paved the way for her 58 current locations worldwide.
The boutique, a move from her original NYC shop on East 60th Street, is the first in the United States to house both her seasonal and bespoke collections. The entire store has the feel of an artist’s studio, thanks to British architect/interior designer Ilse Crawford (the catalyst behind projects like Ett Hem hotel in Stockholm and Soho House New York). It’s a creative ambiance that was no accident.
“I wanted to recreate the sense of the design studio and have the craftsmen working in the store to reconnect the customer to how things are made,” says Hindmarch. “People have become too removed from the process. The craftsmen are the heroes in luxury, not the celebrities wearing the product.”
The custom arm—situated on the second floor of the two-story space—houses a workshop and craftspeople, who personalize leather pieces (boxes, wallets, luggage, key fobs) with messages, names, photographs or drawings in front of customers. Hindmarch would have it no other way. “It is about sealing a moment in time and making something to treasure,” she says. 795 Madison Ave.; anyahindmarch.com.
September 19, 2013
Courtesy of Mars Gallery
A trailblazing force in the Chicago art world for 25 years, Mars Gallery—the studio and gallery space of Pop artist Peter Mars, located in the West Loop district—opens a retrospective exhibit on September 19 showcasing works by the notable artists that have shown within its walls.
“Mars came to define the style of a West Loop gallery,” says co-owner Barbara Gazdik. “A more laid-back, approachable gallery to both artists and collectors—exhibition space often being a timber loft instead of white cubes and wine-and-cheese openings frequently turned into late-night bashes.”
The new exhibit features a mix of pieces, including modern and retro Pop, figurative paintings, items of Outsider Art by the likes of Howard Finster and Lee Godie and a few collaborative pieces by Peter Mars and local musician/visual artist Wesley Willis, who died in 2003. The gallery will hold its official anniversary party on September 26, and tours of Mars’s studio are available upon request.
Tireless advocates for Chicago and its artistic reach, Mars plans to continue in the West Loop, which attracts a younger, quirkier brand of art dealer. And though the next 25 years will no doubt hold change, a solid foundation is already in place.
“No one will ever have a conversation about the Chicago art scene of the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s without including a discussion of Mars,” says Gazdik. “We exhibited more up-and-coming Chicago artists over the past 25 years than any other gallery in the city. Hundreds of artists cut their teeth here—in some ways it’s a right of passage.” Through October 19; 1139 W. Fulton Market; 312-226-7808; marsgallery.com.
September 19, 2013
Courtesy of Off the Wall Gallery
Christine Argillet’s childhood was the same as any other save for one detail: the presence of artistic genius Salvador Dalí, a family friend. The daughter of Pierre Argillet, Dalí’s publisher and confidante for more than 50 years, she spent her entire life near the artist and is now curator of “The Argillet Collection,” one of the most vast and comprehensive compendiums of Dalí’s work.
On display (and available for acquisition) at Off the Wall Gallery (5015 Westheimer Rd., Ste. 2208; 713-871-0940; offthewallgallery.com) in Houston beginning September 21, the collection gives guests the opportunity to see the works and meet Argillet herself. (She will make appearances on September 28 and 29.)
“The Argillet Collection” divides its permanent home between the Museum of Surrealism in Melun, France, and the Dalí Museum in Figueres, Spain. Included in the Off the Wall exhibition, which runs through September 29, is the rarely seen “Songs of Maldoror,” 50 etchings created by Dalí between 1934 and 1973 that have been exhibited only once before during a four-month stint at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Here, Argillet (pictured above with the artist) shares some of her fondest Dalí memories.
Q: How did you get so close to Dalí?
A: When I was six or seven, my parents would spend the entire summer in Spain close to Dalí’s house for a very important reason—he was otherwise selling the artworks that were my father’s publications to anyone who came by the house. So my father was very angry and decided we would spend the summer there.
Q: Give an example of one particularly special memory.
A: Even as a child I was surprised at what an incredible imagination he had. His house was composed of a number of different houses, reunited, that were former fisherman’s houses that created a labyrinth. When Dalí would see me and notice that I was bored, he would tell me to go up to his bedroom and look behind the bed and bring down what I find. [Once] I found a huge glass jar of bonbons! I brought them back down and Dalí told me to go outside and stand discreetly behind the fisherman and throw them on the shore. These were little cherry candies that would make popping sounds when they hit the shore. I was scared but it was so hilarious.
Q: Do you have a favorite work in this exhibit?
A: I am leaning toward his tapestries that are wonderful handwoven artworks. I also love the Argus that has a hundred eyes that are all different—different and foreboding as to what is going to happen in Greek mythology. It is very colorful and unique in the way it is presented. It’s a magnificent work done in a nontraditional way.
September 16, 2013
Courtesy of Bentley
British luxury car brand Bentley is giving handbags its famous handcrafted touch with a limited-edition, 160-piece collection debuting next month. Taking cues from the renowned vehicles—smooth-grained calfskin, lambskin, polished hardware with the same textured finish as the controls of a Bentley—the accessories are a natural extension of the storied automaker.
Daniele Ceccomori, the company’s head of product design, collaborated with designer Vincent du Sartel, who in his 20-plus-year career has created leather goods with the likes of Louis Vuitton and Cartier. “The craftsmanship of the interior of the Bentley has much in common with the great couture houses and ateliers, and the handbags incorporate our expertise in leather and stitching as well as design,” Ceccomori explains.
Choose from two styles: The classic Barnato ($7,000), named after the late Diana Barnato-Walker, company muse, high-spirited socialite and daughter of Bentley chairman Woolf Barnato; and the sporty Continental ($5,500), which eponymously honors the fastest line of Bentley autos. Crafted at a manufacturer in Tuscany, the bags come in a handful of colors (black, reds, blues) and mirror the cars in interesting ways. Their silhouettes are drawn from the horseshoe shape on the trunks and the split side panels mimic the wing-shaped buttresses of dashboards. The Continental even has the same cross-stitching as its namesake’s steering wheel. Arrange a viewing appointment at bentleyhandbagcollection.com.
September 16, 2013
Courtesy of Juergen Teller
“I think I may have overdosed on the hotel,” joked Juergen Teller at a recent banquet in New York announcing the release of the lavish new cookbook Eating at Hotel Il Pellicano (Violette Editions; $60). The photographer, best known for his portrait and fashion work, indeed spent a lot of time at the fabled Tuscan retreat (one of the world’s most glorious seaside resorts), turning his lens to a new subject: food.
Over the course of three years, Teller returned repeatedly to the property to shoot and reshoot dish after dish, transforming chef Antonio Guida’s modern, seasonal fare (which has earned him two Michelin stars) into stunning food porn. The chef’s work—with its bright primary colors, iridescent sauces and frequently scattered flowers—lends itself well to the photographer’s raw sensibility, translating seamlessly to the book’s oversized glossy pages.
More art book for ogling than practical volume for cooking, Eating at Hotel Il Pellicano also features wonderfully purple prose by British novelist Will Self. “At Il Pellicano,” he writes in his introduction, “the past and the present are adjacent plots in a garden of gentle topiary and sweet smelling lemon trees.”
The recipes are divided into thematic menus, each dedicated to a loyal and prominent guest. The Missoni menu, for fashion heiress Margherita, features saffron risotto topped with tuna tartare and suckling pig paired with Campari-soaked beets. Mike Mills of the band R.E.M., who vacations at Il Pellicano with his friend Mario Batali, has his own entry, too, featuring squab breast with foie gras and polenta and a Strawberry Fields Forever dessert of berries, tomatoes and yogurt ice cream. Available for pre-order at amazon.com; violetteeditions.com.
September 16, 2013
Jean Tinguely © 2013 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris
In 1960 Yves Klein debuted his 40-minute Monotone-Silence Symphony, a single-toned work conceived 13 years earlier on a beach in Nice. That same year Robert Rauschenberg helped Jean Tinguely set his friend’s famously massive (and short-lived) sculpture, Homage to New York, into motion in the gardens at MoMA.
This week two New York galleries will show the relics of these momentary, sonorous works of art—“happenings,” as they were called at the time.
Klein’s symphony inspires “Audible Presence: Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Cy Twombly” (September 18 to November 16), the inaugural exhibit at the new Dominique Lévy gallery (909 Madison Ave.; dominique-levy.com). It deals in the luminous, monochromatic and audio works of its three featured artists, including a Fontana “portrait” of the Venetian sky, an abstraction of a Roman sunset by Twombly and the first New York performance (currently sold out) of Monotone-Silence Symphony (September 18, 8 P.M.; Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, 921 Madison Ave.; eventbrite.com).
Following his Homage to New York moment with Tinguely, Rauschenberg eventually added a rare preliminary sketch by the French artist of the “self-constructing and self-deconstructing” machine to his personal collection. It—along with several other pieces from Rauschenberg’s private compendium and archives—is now on view in “Radio Waves: New York ‘Nouveau Réalisme’ and Rauschenberg” (September 17 to November 2) at Sperone Westwater (257 Bowery; speronewestwater.com).
The two shows seem to demonstrate opposite instincts. Uptown, Klein’s resuscitated symphony upends time with 20 unbroken minutes of unchanging tone (and another 20 of silence) that harkens back 53 years. Downtown, time’s perpetual rush forward gets the attention. Even though Tinguely’s Radio No. 1 (1960) could still be turned on to transform quick-flipping radio signals into unpredictable white noise, that won’t happen here. But Rauschenberg’s Dry Cell (1963) still responds to environmental sound, a metal bobbin spinning in a Plexiglass box, still noting a changing present 50 years later.
Two More to See: “Aldo Tambellini: We Are the Primitives of a New Era, Paintings and Projections 1961–1989” (September 12 to October 19) at James Cohan Gallery (533 W. 26th St.; jamescohan.com) delves into the Italian artist’s performance and experiential installations. And “Rauschenberg and Photography” (through November 2) at Pace/MacGill Gallery (32 E. 57th St.; pacemacgill.com) considers the artist’s relationship with the medium.
September 12, 2013
The New York City Wine & Food Festival, held October 17–20 (866-969-2933; nycwff.com), is still a few weeks away, but Lee Schrager, founder of the perpetually popular event filled with celebrity chefs (like Michael Symon, pictured above), delicious food and parties aplenty, is already gearing up for action. As he heads into the sixth installment of the now-classic affair, we chatted with him about the upcoming lineup, how he would strategize a visit and what the celebrity chefs can’t wait to do.
Q: How do you keep the festival fresh but still hold to its original mission?
A: The festival’s mission is to raise as much money as possible to help fight hunger with Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign—that has always been our goal. We keep the program fresh by identifying new trends, continuously listening to our talent, fans, sponsors and talking with industry leaders about what’s coming up next.
Q: What are you particularly excited for this year?
A: I’m looking forward to our first large-scale pizza celebration, La Sagra Sunday Slices (October 20) hosted by Anne Burrell and Adam Richman, as well as our first tailgate event Jets + Chefs: The Ultimate Tailgate (October 19), hosted by Joe Namath and Mario Batali, and the entire series of pairing seminars hosted by Food & Wine and led by some of the greatest chefs and wine and spirits experts.
Q: What do you think is the best way for guests to navigate the fest?
A: Plan ahead if you are going to multiple events to make sure you leave yourself enough time to get from one venue to another. Drink lots of water and wear comfortable shoes!
Q: And what do the participating chefs look forward to every year?
A: I think they enjoy connecting with all of their fans so much throughout the weekend—and seeing each other! Our chefs come from all over the world and the festival is a chance for them to reconnect with their colleagues from across the globe.
Looking (Even Further) Ahead: The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival runs February 20–23, 2014, but you can book a spot now for an exclusive, 12-person sushi-rolling class with Nobu Matsuhisa and executive sushi chef Oscar Norborikawa at Nobu in Miami Beach. The event precedes a lunch at the restaurant (12 to 3 p.m.; $150), but once the dozen spots are filled, no more will open up. February 22, 10 a.m.; tickets, $350; 1901 Collins Ave.; e-mail email@example.com.
September 12, 2013
Supporting emerging artistic talent is nothing new, but for online art-buying platform @60”, bolstering the promise of on-the-rise talent will always be a priority.
“It was important for us to be able to build a community of artists that are affordable yet on the verge of mainstream gallery representation,” says co-founder Kipton Cronkite. “We build their careers and our collectors are able to take advantage of our insider knowledge before these artists are widely recognized.”
The site, which debuted late last year, is no slouch, having won a pair of 2013 Webby Awards for (naturally) Best Art and Best Home/Welcome Page. Paintings, photographs and sculptures—from $100 to $50,000—fill the inventory; roughly 50 talents, like painter Tony Ingrisano and photo portraitist Wenjun Liang, make up the roster.
Cronkite and his team try to make the process as easy and engaging as possible. A new Virtual Art Advisory service, which launched earlier this week, helps collectors glean expert advice: Complete a thorough questionnaire and a consultant will recommend specific pieces based on the findings. A try-before-you-buy feature allows you to test-run true-to-size watermarked replicas on your walls. And the Living with Art section features various influencers illustrating how they integrate art into their lives. (Profiles include design entrepreneur Stuart Parr and interior designer Thom Filicia.)
The site’s curatorial board of gallery owners, art professors and advisors vets the artists, and the staff is always on the lookout for a new find, scouting the country and tapping the expertise of curators, museum insiders and collectors along the way. After all, you never know what the next big thing might be.
“Rising stars bring a unique, modern voice that pushes the constraints on traditional definitions of art,” says Cronkite. “We’re very proud of the talent that we have secured.” 212-486-2608; at60inches.com.
September 12, 2013
Courtesy of Tower Gardens at El Encanto
Over the last few years, “fresh,” “seasonal” and “local” became the undisputed culinary buzzwords at top temples of haute cuisine. Hotels around the world followed suit, reinventing their restaurants to remain on trend. Some planted on-site kitchen gardens, growing herbs and maybe the occasional tomato. But these early efforts often felt like window dressing—initiatives that didn’t affect the food all that much. You might find some homegrown basil on a caprese salad or a few microgreens atop a sous-vide heritage-breed pork loin, but it seemed like hotels continued to procure most major produce by more conventional (read: corporate) means.
Not anymore. A handful of hotels, both new and old, have begun building more serious chef’s gardens—quasi-farms that are leading to big-picture reevaluations of restaurant concepts and top-to-bottom menu overhauls.
One of the most recent arrivals is at iconic El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California (800 Alvarado Pl.; 805-845-5800; elencanto.com), which reopened this spring after a seven-year, $134 million renovation by Orient-Express. Here, chef Patrice Martineau (pictured above) planted not one but two gardens: A traditional plot for the likes of eggplant and peppers, and a vertical tower started in partnership with Montecito Urban Farms. The tower—a so-called aeroponic garden used for a variety of lettuces, kale, arugula, herbs and edible flowers—suspends roots in midair, letting them soak in an organic, nutrient-rich solution that allows them to mature faster than normal. The results have turned up in a dish of Provençal-style vegetables, chilled tomato soup and lemon-basil risotto, with more planned for autumn.
Spring also saw the addition of a large garden on the park-like acreage of Il Salviatino (21 Via del Salviatino; 39-055/904-1111; salviatino.com), a three-year-old hotel (its villa is more than 500 years old) just outside of Florence. Chef Carmine Calò—who has worked at several Michelin-starred restaurants—designed a growing space for the necessities of Italian cooking. Already the 300 plants (eggplants, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers) are producing a quarter of the vegetables used in the restaurant, whose concept Calò will adapt as the vegetation develops and expands. Fall menus will feature dishes using yellow pumpkin, black and savoy cabbages and chard. By spring 2014, Calò says he expects nearly two thirds of the restaurant’s produce to come from the garden, with new plantings of celery, carrots, spring onions, garlic and zucchini.
In the English countryside, on the pastoral border between Dorset and Northampton, the country house hotel Chewton Glen (New Forest District, New Milton; 44-14/2527-5342; chewtonglen.com) debuted an expansive chef’s kitchen garden last year, plus a newly planted orchard of some 200 trees. Overseen by an in-house, full-time gardener, the plots provide the hotel with thousands of pieces of fruits and veggies every week, including radishes, beans, ruby chard, black kale, fennel, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, herbs and edible flowers. Chef Andrew Du Bourg’s stuffed zucchini flowers were one of the most popular items on the menu this summer; this fall he’ll pair homegrown borlotti beans with a dish of braised lamb brisket and crispy sweetbreads
September 05, 2013
Courtesy of Le Quartier Français
When Susan Huxter, owner of the boutique hotel Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, South Africa, was unable to find a refined yet laid-back place in town where she could meet friends for an early evening drink or an afternoon tea, she created one herself. The new Le Quartier Lounge Bar, which opened in August, is meant to be more than just another hotel watering hole.
“We would like the lounge to be the meeting place in Franschhoek, where locals and our international guests can relax and enjoy good food, teas, cocktails and great company,” says Huxter. “It should be the place to relax and mingle in the area.”
The bar focuses on cocktails—the Edible Fruit Coupe (dried fruits soaked in Cape Brandy and Harnepoot dessert wine topped with sparkling wine) is pictured here. But there are also artisanal beers, wines and teas (by Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour) that pair with delicious snacks by executive chef Margot Janse that highlight indigenous ingredients and locally sourced products. Try bites like Gruyère Oreos, wildebeest doughnuts, crayfish popcorn and flatbread with smoked salmon, avocado and spring onion.
Soothing decor and plenty of space make for a peaceful ambiance, and even the tall-legged, washed-oak bar has a buoyant personality that is more inviting than imposing in every way. “I did not want a dark masculine bar but rather a light, more feminine feel,” says Huxter. “We hope people will love it as much as we do.” Rooms start at $310; 16 Huguenot Rd.; 27-21/876-2151; lqf.co.za.