I’ve known about Transformer for a long time, and got to know more last fall when I wrote about them for DC Magazine, so it was such a treat this week to go to one of the homes to be on the organization’s annual Collector’s View series, which raises money so Transformer can continue to support the careers of young, emerging contemporary artists.
The series starts off Thursday, April 11, at the Kalorama Triangle home of Andrea Evers, who with her mother runs Evers & Co. real estate. She gave me a sneak peek of her home, which she recently decorated with the help of my friend, designer Liz Levin.
According to the program: “Highlighting themes of repetition and replication, which speaks to a suburban aesthetic and American expansiveness, as well as more narrative works full of life, humor and sex, their collection features Western pop-art pieces and many works by noted DC-area artists—a few who have moved away and several who who still call DC home.”
Andrea and Brian bought their house in 2002, and Brian “just decided one day, ‘I’m going to start buying art,'” she says. His New York artist friend, Lane Twitchell, may have given him the bug. They have a number of Twitchells, including this one:
It wasn’t long before Andrea caught the bug, too. She goes for the whimsical, the sexy—and the cartoonish. Here is her first purchase, which she says has moved all over the house, but it now resides in the dining room:
Andrea has gone so far as to create her own art. Here, she’s taken the decapitated remains of her dog’s toys and arranged them on the kitchen wall adjacent to Silva’s work:
Andrea’s and her husband’s tastes don’t always mesh, but it creates a really cool variety as you wander from room to room. “I tend to like things that seem that there’s a narrative, but you can’t really figure out what it is,” Andrea says. “Somehow it all comes together, but we really don’t have a plan.”
Speaking of mysterious narratives:
Since she and Brian have been collecting, they have gone to DC galleries such as G Fine Art, Transformer, the Curator’s Office and Heiner Contemporary. They also attend lectures at the Hirshhorn, and do lots of research on artists who catch their eye.
“If we end up buying something that interests us, we’ll do a ton of reading” on that artist, Andrea says. “I carry a little pad of paper with me when I got out to see shows. It’s more than a hobby—it’s becoming a passion.”
In the process, she’s become close friends with several of the artists she collects, such as Luis Silva, whose cartoon-art is in her kitchen, and Linn Meyers, whose spectacular organic abstract is in her front hall:
Check out the intricate detail of this work:
She’s also become friends with several curators around the city, and it sounds to me as though she and Brian learn just as much about art at dinner parties as they do in the galleries. “That’s the other great thing about DC—it’s such a small town. It’s so accessible,” she says.
Here’s a peek at works by Michael and Horowtiz, which hang in the living room where the talk will take place.
Unless noted otherwise, these images come courtesy of photographer Angie Seckinger, who shot the home for Liz Levin’s portfolio:
It might seem like I’m giving everything away from Andrea’s house before you go, but what you see here is a tiny fraction of the art that populates every room in the house, down to the naked pictures in the powder room. (How’s that for a teaser?)
Angie’s photos will give you an idea of how beautiful the interiors are, beyond just the art (although the art makes it).
I’ll close with my personal favorite—a painting by the noted artist Mel Bochner. I wonder if they make prints of this one, which I would love to put in my office:
The rest of the Transformer series—there are five “views” through May—will visit homes of:
Jean and Gary Cohen, April 21. Their Hugh-Newell-Jacobsen-designed house features Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Bochner, Gene Davis, Sol LeWitt, Robert Rauschenberg and Keith Haring, among others.
Deborah Kalkstein (owner of Contemporaria in Georgetown) and Carols Bachrach, May 5. Their collection is filled with the works of artists from Deborah’s native Peru; Mexican and Spanish artists; and French sculptor Jacques LeNantec.
Aaron M Levine & Associates, May 16. This law office is an extension of Barbara and Aaron Levine’s significant personal collection. It includes Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, Hubbard/Birchler, James Casabere, Frank Thiel, Sam Gilliam, August Sander, Anthony McCall and Carlos Garaicoa.
Ann Luskey, May 19. Ann (who was my classmate at Potomac School way back when—small world), lives in the much-publicized Net Zero house designed by Meditch Murphey Architects. Her contemporary collection focuses on themes of nature and environmental conservation—a passion and cause that sends her all over the world to support. She collected many of the works from artists she’s met on her travels as an ocean conservationist. The collection also includes stars such as Warhol, Haring, LeWitt, Spencer Tunick, Stephan Balkenhol, Tony Oursler and Joel Shapiro.
For more information on times, dates, places, and to purchase the $50 tickets, click here to go to Transformer’s Collector’s View page.
As Andrea says, “to be able to come in these houses and see that art—it’s like going to a little museum.” Indeed.