Friday, October 3, 2014

San Francisco Social Diary

The inaugural Art Silicon Valley/San Francisco Fair is cultivating new collectors by offering works that are accessible and choosing dealers who are willing to educate.
by Jeanne Lawrence

Once the young venture capitalist and tech sector tycoons of Silicon Valley have acquired jaw-dropping real estate and the latest-and-greatest jets and yachts, what should be their next must-have?

Art dealers have an answer: They are wooing this young audience to become the next generation’s international art collectors, caretakers, ambassadors, and philanthropists in innovative ways.


Hoping to cultivate young moguls as collectors, Art Miami LLC, now in its 25th year, is launching its first West Coast venture:  the Art Silicon Valley/San Francisco fair in San Mateo over Columbus Day weekend from October 9 to 12.

The fair will comprise 70 international and Bay Area galleries, offering investment-quality 20th and 21st-century works by 750 artists from 42 countries. It will showcase emergent talent and new media artists along with works by such important names as Picasso, Lichtenstein, Frankenthaler, and Wesselmann.
Many of the important galleries at Art SV/SF have exhibited at other major fairs:  Art Miami, Art Basel, Art Basel Hong Kong, Armory Modern & Contemporary, TEFAF Maastricht, and Fog Design+Art.
Art SV/SF will take place at the San Mateo Event Center, centrally located between Silicon Valley, the center of tech development and the San Francisco financial hub. According to Art Miami director Nick Korniloff this area is one of “the most creative community in the world”—an underserved audience that includes a new generation of prospective customers along with seasoned collectors, arts patrons, and organizations.
Art SV/SF Directors Pamela Cohen and Fair Director Nick Korniloff hope to target purchasers who seek high quality while also looking for value.
As the inaugural show takes place this month, the following images from Art Miami 2013 fair will give readers a taste of what to expect at the upcoming Art SV/SF in October.
Art Miami is expanding its reach with its Columbus weekend October’s launch of Art SV/SF and last July with Art Southampton.  
The 2013 Art Miami one of the premier art fairs in the world, showcased modern and contemporary art from over 125 international art galleries.
Art Miami, attracts thousands of international collectors, curators, museum professionals, and art enthusiasts from around the globe.
A patron of the arts, Maserati has sponsored Art Miami and is currently sponsoring Art SV/SF.
Among Art Miami’s 2013 exhibitors was New York’s Barry Friedman Gallery.
Art collector and philanthropist Henry Buhl with Pamela Cohen and Nick Korniloff.
Jamie Smith and Leigh Conner of Washington, DC gallery Connersmith, with art collector Mera Rubell.
Musician Julian Lennon with Pamela Cohen.
Art collectors Jorge and Darlene Perez with Mexican gallerist Nina Menocal.
A display by Galerie Forsblom of Helsinki.
Art collectors and philanthropists Theodore and Ruth Baum. Contemporary artist Shepard Fairey.
Nick Korniloff, art collectors Hilary and Wilbur Ross, and Pamela Cohen.
A display by Graff Diamonds, which is also a sponsor of Art SV/SF.
At Art Miami, Graff showed off their assets to best effect on live models.
Aspiring collectors, rejoice. Instead of flying to Art Miami to find a great selection of international contemporary and modern art just head to San Mateo for Art Silicon Valley/San Francisco from October 9 to 12. (Find more information at


The House of Graff, another sponsor of Art SV/SF, held a buzz-stimulating after-hours event at its San Francisco Post Street location on September 17. Offering as extra enticement a private viewing of the diamonds for which the shop is known, Graff drew a crowd as dazzling as its jewelry.

Laurence Graff, who founded Graff Diamonds in 1960, was decorated with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth in 2013. Of humble beginnings, the self-styled “King of Diamonds” is, according to Forbes, the 10th richest man in Great Britain.
Laurence Graff, Chairman of Graff Diamonds International.
Tanya Powell, Graff Manager Robert Atkinson, Afsaneh Akhtari, and Navid Armstrong. Heide Betz and Merrill Randol.
Hooman Khalili and Carly LoJacono. Leslie and Alex Meyerovich with Patsy Lurie.
Shari Wilk, Michael Wilk, Jim Oswald, and Marty Courson.
Hooman Khalili and Carly LoJacono. Leslie and Alex Meyerovich with Patsy Lurie.
Cynde Adler, Ricardo Richey, Jamaica Munoz, and party-goer.
Nick Korniloff, Mia and Dave Clark, and Pamela Cohen.
Andrea Topper and Lisa Podos. Fasha Torres and Anne Kopca.
Jenny Darland and Helen Vayly. On the wall hangs a portrait of Laurence Graff, which I mistook for actor Daniel Craig – the latest James Bond.
Graff’s empires encompasses other prestigious enterprises such as the Delaire Graff Estate, a chic resort with exclusive lodges and a spa that overlooks the Stellenbosch vineyards in the wine country outside of Cape Town.
Delaire Graff Estate, the exclusive lodge located in The Cape Winelands, showcases Laurence Graff’s collection of South African art and wine. After the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, I visited Graff’s Delaire Estate for a relaxing respite from the excitement of the games and I hope to return one day.

Another new art venue that drew in more art fans was the cleverly named curATE, a pop-up art event/restaurant evening that was a joint venture of Quince restaurant and the Hedge Gallery. The five-week series was a great concept and such an outstanding success that I predict it will spark a new trend.


The impetus came from Lindsay and Chef Michael Tusk. The owners of Quince—which has earned two Michelin stars for its California-inspired tasting menu—were planning to close the restaurant for a few weeks of renovations.
Michael Tusk, chef/owner of Quince and Cotogna, won the 2013 James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef – Pacific.”
Quince restaurant, one of just five two-star Michelin restaurants in San Francisco, recently renovated by designer Douglas Durkin located in the Jackson Square neighborhood.
Cotogna, adjoining Quince, is the Tusks’ more casual rustic spin-off that specializes in home-made pastas, spit-roasted or grilled meats and fish, and wood-oven pizzas.

Among Quince and Cotogna’s frequent guests are interior designer Steven Volpe and gallerist Roth Martin, owners of Hedge Gallery, neighbors across the street

Enjoying California wine at Quince one evening, Lindsay Tusk and Steven Volpe hatched the idea of a pop-up restaurant—curATE—while Quince was closed. They imagined a rotating display of gallery art on the walls in combination with culinary art, and enticed event designer Stanlee Gatti to transform the space.
Hedge Gallery is one of the destinations for an eclectic collection of high-end, contemporary furniture and art objects.
Guests at one curATE dinner included PR maven Allison Spear, event designer Stanlee Gatti, Quince’s Lindsay Tusk, and Jeanne Lawrence.
Other guests this night included author Paul Duchscherer, art patron Cynthia Coolidge, and designer/architect Kevin Hsu.
From 6:30 to 7:30 at the curATE dinners, guests enjoyed viewing the art while nibbling on canapés and sipping Roederer champagne passed by the Quince staff.
Afterward, guests enjoyed a five-course tasting menu, which changed weekly, inspired by the works of art on display.
One host reserved the long table of 12 for his birthday meal and a complementary wine pairing– a very special celebration! 
Opera Ball 2015 Co-Chair Jane Mudge, venture capitalist Gaurav Garg, and Jeanne Lawrence.
Computer scientist and fashionista Komal Shah, creative designer of Opera Ball 2014 Riccardo Benavides, and Jane Mudge.
Mary Beth Shimmon and Dr. Nellis Smith.
Gaurav Garg and philanthropist Barbara Brown.

When I dined at curATE during the fifth and final week, the featured art was from Iwona Tenzing’s gallery, Tenzing Asian Art. It specializes in Hindu and Buddhist art from India, the Himalayas, and Southeast Asia, particularly antique sculpture and paintings.
Tenzing gallery owner Iwona Tenzing and her husband Norbu Tenzing, vide-president of the American Himalayan Foundation.
At our dinner, we were surrounded by rare Buddhist bronze sculptures and artwork from the 13th through 17th centuries, curated to represent the “pathway to enlightenment.”
I thought it was wonderful to have dinner immersed by works of art, so you had a  sense of what it would be like to live with them at home.
Iwona Tenzing and a 14th-century gilt bronze figure of Buddha Sakyamuni, the Historical Buddha, from Nepal.
A 14th-century silver and copper inlaid bronze figure of Shadakshari, Embodiment of the Six-Syllable Mantra, by Om Mani Padme Hum, from Western Tibet.

To complement the Tenzing Asian art display, Chef Tusk served a five-course menu that included Himalayan salt-cured halibut, a Sherpa summer vegetable salad, carrot bisque with Madras curry and yogurt, Za’atar spiced lamb, and for dessert Everest meringue.
Our Eastern-inspired menu perfectly matched the Asian art surrounding the diners, I wish  I could have enjoyed the fine food, fine wine, and fine art at each of curATE’s events.

Other art galleries participated in a rotating week-long showing of their works, hung on Hedge’s walls included Jeffrey Fraenkel Gallery, Anthony Meier Fine Arts, Jessica Silverman Gallery, and John Berggruen Gallery.

For the gallerists, curATE was an especially good way to entice business. One guest observed that she found it less intimidating to view art as part of a group rather than enter a gallery alone. And, if you fell in love with a work of art, you could purchase it on the spot.
Jeffrey Fraenkel Gallery choices played upon the theme of scale in photography.
Anthony Meier Fine Arts showcased an exhibit on deconstruction and artistic process.
Jessica Silverman Gallery theme “White is the Warmest Color” an exhibit of white and minally colored works.
John Berggruen Gallery specializes in 20th Century American and European paintings, drawingsm sculptures, and prints.
Jeanne Lawrence, Drew Altizer, and Nick Korniloff.

*Urbanite Jeanne Lawrence reports on lifestyle and travel from her homes in San Francisco, Shanghai, and New York, and wherever else she finds a good story.