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Art Voyager: Myriam Vanneschi (Art Advisor, Curator, Writer and Collector)

Helen Wu

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"Art is for progress, and so art is for change."


Text: Helen Homan Wu

Artists often make us see and experience our complex world in a different light. Devout art lovers dedicate their lives in search of this experience, even if it means traveling out of their comfort zones to unknown territories and destinations. 

Myriam Vanneschi is precisely this character. I remember there was one evening, many summers ago, when she arrived in New York City and came straight from the airport rolling in with luggage in hand to a performance event that I had organized post-Armory Art Show opening night. She does not miss an art beat. She has this inspiring energy for discovering interesting talent, and places with stories.  Our friendship and conversations usually surrounds around our love of media art, her work as an advisor, and comparing our latest discoveries. Over the years, I have learned how dedicated and committed she is to supporting the arts in a spectrum of angles. Myriam is a curator, writer, art advisor, patron, collector, and a frequent flyer. In the world of contemporary art, where it is largely about consumption, you can choose to be a progressive or a passive participant. Myriam is definitely on the progressive side and has a very active role in the art world and the projects she participates in. Her curiosity for undiscovered territories in this world is evident through her travels to places such as Haiti, Ghana, Palestine, Panama, Iran, among others. Her active engagement in the regions where she has travelled to fueled by a hunger for knowledge is a great example of how one can travel through art and the journey of an explorer that's both intellectually and emotionally stimulating. It can be a lifelong journey!

At a recent dinner, we spoke at length about art tourism, Curagenda expeditions, and how much we both learn about a place through artists, creatives and the eco-system surrounding it that protects this cultural capital. Just back from Basel, she was recently interviewed by Sean Kelly for his Collect Wisely podcast (to be published in July). 

Through email Myriam answered the ten questions for our Art Voyager series. 

 

HHW: Where are you from? 

MV: Geneva, Switzerland

 

 Inhotim Institute

Inhotim Institute

What's the best exhibition or artwork that was worth a trek across the globe to see? 

Inhotim Institute in Brumadinho, Belo Horizonte in Brazil. I went in 2011 and back then it was quite hard to get to but my friend Alexandre Roesler from the amazing Galeria Nara Roesler helped me make it.

 

How do you navigate an art fair? a biennial? 

At big art fairs like Basel or Frieze I tend to go straight to the booths that are of most interest to me. I do those first and if there are purchases I work through those. Then I can stroll and go to the booths that are often based around the edges, the smaller, but often very interesting booths.

Biennials I tend to navigate very differently because I want to see everything. If it is a crowded one, like Venice, I start at the end and backtrack.

 

 Photo: Daniel Pérez. Courtesy Artists Space.

Photo: Daniel Pérez. Courtesy Artists Space.

What's your advice for someone traveling to New York for an art trip? 

If you are in New York for an art fair, make an effort and find the art spaces that are a little less well known. There is a ridiculous amount of art to be seen in NYC, but aside from the big museums, which I often find quite daunting to navigate, my actual favorite places are the non-profit and independent art spaces, organizations and residencies. Some of my faves are: Artists Space, Printed Matter, Apex Art, The Drawing Center, WhiteBox, ICI, Eyebeam, Rhizome. 

Go to the Brooklyn Museum and def walk the Highline before you visit the Whitney. And for music, in the summer, go to MoMA PS1 on a Saturday for Warm Up. 

 

What are your travel essentials? 

Passport. Phones, tablets, chargers and power banks. Credit cards. Glasses. Supplements. Basic toiletries. Lots of clean underwear. And perfume. 

 

 Unique Hotel

Unique Hotel

Favorite hotels that you have stayed in? 

They are either high-end or low-end, never in between, and never chains. I have many favorites but the ones that immediately spring to mind are:

- Unique Hotel in Sao Paulo, Brazil

- The Royal Senchi in Akosombo, Ghana

- Juliana in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

- Oloffson in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

- Jungle Bay in Morne Acouma, Dominica 

- Niyaesh Boutique Hotel in Shiraz, Iran

- Casa Colombo in Colombo, Sri Lanka

- Explora Rapa Nui in Hanga Roa, Easter Island

- Hotel Quinta de Las Flores in Antigua, Guatemala

- Jicaro Island Lodge on Granada Isleta in Nicaragua

 

What is art for? 

Art is for progress, and so art is for change. I think that what artists do is they try to make sense of the world around them through creating art and by doing so they raise questions and come up with possibilities or alternatives. 

 

What’s the vision behind your collection? 

My personal collection has a few common threads. One is thematic, another is visual and yet another is related to material. Thematically I look for art that has a clear message, for example Sophia Wallace or Khaled Jarrar who talk about feminism and Palestine, respectively. Both these artists also make visually stunning work, very clear. There is also a common thread in material, I look at new media and purely digital art a lot. I also try to find work by artists who have bigger hurdles to overcome in order to make money from their work because of bias that is oddly very prevalent in the art world, so I look at artists who are underrepresented because of who they are or where they come from.

 

What’s your advice for new collectors? 

Go out to look at a lot of art. Go to every exhibition that you think you may be interested in and travel to biennials. The more you see, the more questions will arise and as you mentally work through those questions you will inevitably end up following a number of artists more closely. When you start buying, always buy work that really speaks to you, and do not follow hypes. Do not buy with the intention that it is an investment, that is not a good starting point.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

A book! But that has been long in the making so I doubt I will actually ever finish it. Otherwise I’m working on a show in NYC with new media works that is going to be curated by Iranian artists Mohsen Hazrati and Milad Forouzandeh. And of course busy with the upcoming art fairs.

 

 

More about Myriam

Myriam Vanneschi is an in-company and independent art advisor, curator and writer. She is Swiss, was raised in the Netherlands, and went to three different art colleges there. Did applied linguistics in Ireland and then traveled for ten years teaching languages, always keeping an eye out for the local art scene. She devotes full time to the arts and is now dividing her time and her work between New York and Europe. Her interests include Social Practice art, New Media art, feminism and art in a global context. She curated NO EXIT by Khaled Jarrar at Whitebox Art Center and co-curated, with Morehshin Allahyari, AP<P>ART, in Tehran, Shiraz and NYC. She is an occasional contributor to Hyperallergic. 

A SUMMER JOURNEY THROUGH UNDISCOVERED ITALY (In Conjunction with Manifesta Palermo)

Helen Wu

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Curagenda presents a very special journey introducing you to the undiscovered regions in Italy to experience both the contemporary and the classics of this awe-inspiring destination. You may have been to Italy many times, but not to the one that we will show you.

This two-week journey will begin in the north of Italy, Milan giving  you an insider's look into the economic "Capital" of Italy through intimate art and design collection visits and dinners, before embarking onto a demystifying journey through Turin. In the humble town of Reggio Emilia, you are welcomed by the Director and friends at Collezione Maramotti with private tour of its collection and an artist dinner. In Reggio you will also visit the Fotografia Europea, the annual photography festival, whilst being led by curators to discover the contemporary photography archives in its town vault, and heritage architecture. You will venture through the mountainous villages of Langhe visiting vineyards on this UNESCO site, overnight in a grand castle where the entrepreneur Jack Ma stays, and seeing a local artist residency on these Italian rolling hills via a helicopter. Anchoring the other end of this amazing journey, you arrive in Palermo to attend the VIP preview to Manifesta 12, the world’s only nomadic biennial of contemporary art and culture with a warm welcoming by the creative team. Finally, the Princess of Sicily will host a private reception in her magnificent palace, a five generation work of art that exemplifies the heart and soul of Sicily. 

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 Casa Mollino

Casa Mollino

DEMYSTIFYING TURIN

One of the main highlights of our trip lies in revealing the multi-faceted aspects of Turin. A post-industrial city of heritage, Turin was once home to the FIAT factory, which makes an interesting contrast to its elegant Paris-style streets and baroque architecture. In the city center, you will also discover masterpieces of Italian modern architecture. The city has inspired and hosted renowned contemporary artists including Marina Abramovic, Maurizio Cattelan, Lawrence Weiner, John Cage, among many others. We will have private visits to major institutions such as Castello di Rivoli, lunch and dinner with top gallerists, studio visits to Michelangelo Pistoletto, Contemporary Italian Artists, and Casa Mollino.

 Langhe, Piedmonte Region (Tuscany without the crowds)

Langhe, Piedmonte Region (Tuscany without the crowds)

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 Manifesta, Palermo

Manifesta, Palermo

 Manifesta, Palermo

Manifesta, Palermo

MANIFESTA, VIP OPENING RECEPTION
Manifesta is the European Nomadic Biennial. It is a major international art event, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world. Manifesta is the go-to place for discovering emerging artists, thought-provoking ideas, new artworks especially commissioned for the event, and creative experiences in dialogue with spectacular locations of each host city. 

Manifesta 12 Palermo: The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence
Titled “The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence”, the concept explores coexistence in a world moved by invisible networks, transnational private interests, algorithmic intelligence and ever-increasing inequalities through the unique lens of Palermo – a crossroads of three continents in the heart of the Mediterranean. Closely collaborating with Palermitan partners, Manifesta 12 will co-inhabit Palermo as a laboratory to investigate the challenges of our time and look for traces of possible futures.

http://m12.manifesta.org

 Princess of Sicily

Princess of Sicily

 Palace of the Princess of Sicily

Palace of the Princess of Sicily

Expect to be immersed in a bespoke once-in-a-lifetime journey of art, culture, food, and wine that makes Italy such a special place, where visitors return to year after year.

Organized in partnership with Collezione Maramotti, Manifesta 12 Palermo

 

A Summer Journey through Undiscovered Italy   
In partnership with Collezione Maramotti and Manifesta Palermo

ART EXPEDITION DATES
June 3 - 16, 2018 (2 weeks) 

More information about the Summer Art Expedition HERE 

 

Art Voyager: Petch Osathanugrah (CEO of Osotspa, President of Bangkok University, Collector)

Helen Wu

 Image: Sunya Photography

Image: Sunya Photography

Text: Helen Homan Wu

Art and travel often go hand in hand. Those who are in a lifetime search for art objects to fill one’s existential needs will indefinitely also collect unique experiences along this journey.  Certainly, the social aspects of collecting art is nothing new, but to take it to the next level is part of what our work is about. I’m not only interested in the action of introducing an artist, private collection, meeting a museum director, a destination, hotelier, or offering art education, but also finding the magic that surrounds these stories.

I ran into my old friend Petch this past October at Frieze London. Both of us had a week packed full of activities and didn’t find a time to properly meet. I suddenly felt a strong nostalgia for the wild art hopping days in both London and Bangkok. Going around to scout for art with Petch is quite an ethereal experience. I remember an evening in Bangkok, where he led me, along with a few artist friends hopping from one gallery to the next in his jeep, completely spontaneous and picking up new friends along the way who were aspiring curators or art managers, as if the whole contemporary art community was a village. Our adventures continued into the break of dawn at the Mandarin Oriental, a classic institution in Bangkok, where he pulled out sketches of his work-in-progress private museum. We sat around in awe, drunk over too many mai tai’s, admiring the architectural drawings to his future museum. 

Then there was another time many years ago during Frieze London where we went around to galleries in Mayfair looking at very specific artists that he liked. It was the first time that I could see a collector who was so decisive with what he liked and didn’t like and for completely personal reasons. It shows that he really knew what he was looking for. It was very inspiring to see through his eyes. I realize that this museum project was very dear to him, as all the pieces were carefully assembled to his own tastes.

This is one of many stories that inspire our work and one that reminds us the importance of losing oneself to unfamiliar territories (through art), and somehow along the way, we understand ourselves in a new way. Continuing our seasonal questionaire with art voyagers, I asked Petch 10 questions.


Petch Osathanugrah, a former pop-artist, is President of Bangkok University, one of the largest private universities in Thailand, and CEO of Osotspa, a 126 year-old consumer product company. He is also a collector of contemporary art. 

 
1. Where are you from? 

I’m an art collector based in Bangkok, Thailand, who has been collecting contemporary art for about 30 years.


2. What's the best exhibition or artwork that was worth a trek across the globe to see? 
The biggest art trip I made across the globe so far was the trip to the big three: Venice Biennale, documenta 14, and Skulptur Projekte Münster (held every ten years), plus Art Basel in Basel, which took me all together about 10 days, last June. It was really mind boggling and exhausting to do them all in one trip. But, it was worth it.

For me, art is for contemplating and experiencing the present moment, and hopefully, take us beyond the limitations of our thinking mind, which is mostly mundane and shallow, and definitely not for speculating or investment.
  PIERRE HUYGHE,&nbsp; After ALife Ahead , 2017&nbsp; (Presented at Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017) Ice rink concrete floor, sand, clay, phreatic water, bacteria, algae, bee, chimera peacock; Aquarium: black switchable glass, conus textile; Incubator, human cancer cells; Genetic algorithm; Augmented reality; Automated ceiling structure; Rain; Ammoniac; Logic game (Courtesy of the artist; Esther Schipper, Berlin; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York)    


PIERRE HUYGHE, After ALife Ahead, 2017  (Presented at Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017)
Ice rink concrete floor, sand, clay, phreatic water, bacteria, algae, bee, chimera peacock; Aquarium: black switchable glass, conus textile; Incubator, human cancer cells; Genetic algorithm; Augmented reality; Automated ceiling structure; Rain; Ammoniac; Logic game
(Courtesy of the artist; Esther Schipper, Berlin; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York)


 

3. How do you navigate an art fair? a biennial? 
I mainly have time to do 2 art fairs per year and always go to the same ones: Art Basel in Basel, and Art Basel in Hong Kong. But last year I added Frieze London to the list too. Because I go to the same fairs, my routines are mostly the same. On the first day of the fair I would check out the booth of galleries that I like and know well first (because the works they show are usually of good standard, and also to keep up the relationships). Then on the following days, I’ll try to walk systematically around the whole fair. In an art fair, I would normally take a glance at a booth that I’m not familiar with first before walking in, and decide whether I should check it out or skip it, so as not to waste time. 

At a biennial, I would spend much more time and try to look at everything except video art. Because of the limitation of energy and time in a day, I tend to spend less time on them.  

 

 100 Tonson Gallery (courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery)

100 Tonson Gallery (courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery)


4. What's your advice for someone traveling to Bangkok for an art trip?
I would recommend the BACC which is the main public art center with regular temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, and Bangkok University Gallery (BUG), which is one of the best non-profit art spaces in the city. For commercial galleries, try Gallery VER (founded by artist Rirkrit Tiravanija), 100 Tonson Gallery, Numthong Gallery, Nova Contemporary, and Bangkok CityCity Gallery.
 

5. What are your travel essentials? 
My travel essentials: comfy pants with strings, lots of t-shirts, and different types of jackets for different weathers and occasions, and two pairs of trainers.

 

 The Renaissance Hotel, Hong Kong

The Renaissance Hotel, Hong Kong

6. Favorite hotels that you have stayed in? 
My favorite hotels during art fairs: The Pullman in Basel (only a minute from Messeplatz where Art Basel is held). In Hong Kong: The Renaissance Hotel (adjacent to the Hong Kong Convention Center, where Art Basel Hong Kong is held).


7. What is art for? 
For me, art is for contemplating and experiencing the present moment, and hopefully, take us beyond the limitations of our thinking mind, which is mostly mundane and shallow, and definitely not for speculating or investment.
 

8. What’s the vision behind your collection? 
My vision and direction: international contemporary art with primarily strong and preferably timeless aesthetics, and secondly with good conceptual context, but not necessarily. Spirituality and the human condition are main themes that I focus on too.


9. What’s your advice for new collectors? 
My advice for new collectors is to learn by looking without buying anything in the first two years, because you will end up buying something that you’ll regret, so it’s better to limit your mistakes to a minimal. You should also have a clear vision and goal, as you don’t want to buy everything that you come across or like (not having enough walls and storage will become a problem real soon). Only good artworks that fit a clear vision will make a good collection. Inferior artworks will bring down the whole thing, if you show them. Try to focus on quality, not quantity!


10. What are you working on at the moment?
Sansab Museum of Contemporary Art is my museum project. It will be located in Bangkok by a historic canal which has inspired its name, and set to open in early 2020. The focus of the museum is international contemporary art, with a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.


 

 

Art Basel Miami Beach 2017 Selects

Helen Wu

 courtesy Art Basel

courtesy Art Basel

Art Basel Miami Beach will take place 7–10 December with a Preview Day on Wednesday 6 December. This year’s fair brings together over 200 of the world’s leading international Modern and Contemporary art galleries, showcasing today’s significant artworks by over 4,000 artists.

Aside from the art fairs, there are many cultural institutions that are worth visiting including The Bass, Institute of Contemporary Art Miami (ICA), Lowe Art Museum, Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), NSU Art Museum and the Wolfsonian. 

Located in front of the Biscayne Bay, the entirely new museum PAMM building, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, opened in 2013 during the Miami art week, which gives the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) a new life—significant improvements to its earlier incarnation as the Miami Art Museum. By fully utilizing this fabulous park-like museum building and its full-services facilities, PAMM is committed to improving the quality of life for individuals as well as social life in the communities.

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Here is a taste of the events around Miami during the art week: 

Rubell Family Collection: Still Human and Allison Zuckerman: Stranger in Paradise
Thursday, December 7, 2017 9-12
Rubell Family Collection


Collector Talk: Beyond Collecting: What is Patronage?
Given by Pamela Joyner, Fusun Eczacibasi, and Mark Rappolt
Thursday, December 7, 2017 2pm-3pm
Miami Beach Botanical Garden


Art Fashion Opening Party: Thursday, December 7, 2017 7-9pm
White Dot Gallery 2245 N.W. 2nd Ave, Wynwood


Art Basel Miami Beach VIP Party: Celebration Miami Art Week 
Wolfsonian-FIU with Seite Zwei’s new installation, on-site portrait photography
Wolfsonian-FIU 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach


A Taste of Cultural Arts & Cuisine VIP tour
Tours available Friday-Sunday
Bayside Marketplace 401 Biscayne Boulevard, Downtown Miami


Breakfast in the Park: Sunday, Dec 10, from 9:30
Official Art Basel Miami Beach Event presented by the Patricia& Phillip Frost Art Museum   S.W. 17th Street


Bubbles &Brunch: featuring artist Michle Oka Doner
Lowe Art Museum


Annual Basel, Lox and Cream Cheese Brunch: hosted by Jewish Museum Florida-FIU
Featuring a conversation with 3D artist Eric Goldemberg
Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU
301 Washington Ave. Miami Beach

 

By Curagenda Staff

 

Frieze London and Frieze Masters VIP Package

Helen Wu

Frieze-London.jpg

London, one of our favorite cities for its ever-evolving dynamism in art, architecture, music, fashion, food and people, will come alive in October when the international art crowd flocks here during Frieze. Curagenda has designed distinct art agendas offering guests privileged access to Frieze London and Frieze Masters, VIP events, private views and artist receptions. The highlight of our agenda is without doubt breakfast with the Curators at the Tate, introduction to the 2017 Serpentine Pavillion by Francis Kéré hosted by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Haroon Mirza's new commission at the Zabludowicz Collection including a site-specific performance, DRAF (David Roberts Art Foundation) 10th Anniversary Party, among others. 

We offer several packages that will make it convenient for our guests to incorporate into their itineraries, showing you the best of the city, the art fair and local talents.  As always, we are at hand to curate your art trip, including gallery tours, exclusive accommodations, studio visits and excursions for you and your guests. We offer exclusive amenities at our hotel partners such as Flemings Mayfair, the Connaught Hotel, and handpicked private apartments. Below are a few offers from our hand-selected hotel partners with Curagenda's VIP amenities. 

 

Connaught VIP Package 

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Frieze London & Frieze Masters VIP Package
One Bed Suite
Daily Breakfast
75 GBP spa or hotel credit
Art & travel concierge for duration of art week

• based on availability

Langham VIP Package 

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Frieze London & Frieze Masters VIP Package
Priority booking for Superior King, Deluxe King, Executive King, Junior Suite King or One Bedroom Suite
Daily Breakfast
VIP Treatment
Art & travel concierge for duration of art week

• based on availability

Flemings VIP Package

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Frieze London & Frieze Masters VIP Package
Priority booking for all room categories
Daily Breakfast
VIP Treatment
Art & travel concierge for duration of art week

• based on availability

 

View Frieze London Tailormade Package HERE

Book early to ensure your entrance to the fairs and the best available rates!
info@curagenda.com or call +1 917 727 1972

Art Tours New York & Paris

Helen Wu

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We are excited to announce that Curagenda now offers year-round art tours in New York and Paris. Led by our Specialist guides, tours will still be focussed around contemporary art, which can have quite broad themes, with other added perspectives such as food, architecture, design etc. And always with our personalized hospitality that distinguishes us. 

All tours are tailormade to the client’s interest and for varoius levels of art knowledge, so whether you’re a seasoned art connoisseur, curious art lover or culture seeker, we can craft the perfect tour for you. 

Book our standard 2-hour art tour here or challenge us with a special commission - a specialized tour event focused around your specific needs. 

curagenda.com/new-york-art-tours

 

Summer Art Pilgrimage in Europe: Kassel, Athens, Venice, Italy & France Tailormade Experiences

Helen Wu

 documenta, Kassel (courtesy e-flux)

documenta, Kassel (courtesy e-flux)

 James Lee Byers (courtesy michael werner gallery new york and london)

James Lee Byers (courtesy michael werner gallery new york and london)

Curagenda has designed a distinct multi-city trip to experience the best of Venice during the art biennale, and documenta(14) in its host cities Kassel and Athens. The Venice Biennale and documenta trip package will be offered over the Summer months from June through August and into the Fall. Guests will be guided through documenta’s site-specific artworks and exhibitions in both Athens and Kassel, as well as experiencing the destination cities’ charm and character through our selection of sites and events. Guests will have the privilege of seeing through the eyes of Curagenda Specialists, who are local insiders, besides introducing the artworks, invitations to special receptions (during the opening reception days), cultural and architectural tours will also be offered. Through the multi-city itinerary, guests will meet and spend intimate moments with Directors and Curators of museums, institutions and galleries, as well as visit local artists. In parallel to your day-by-day itinerary will be exciting gastronomic locations handpicked by food experts to complete the Curagenda art and cultural experience.

Tailormade itineraries available by request. 

Destinations include: Kassel (Germany), Athens (Greece), Venice Biennale (Italy), Art Basel (Switzerland), Art-o-Rama Marseilles (France), Artissima (Italy), among others 

Contact us for details. Trip Information HERE

 

 

Photo Recap: Lower East Side Galleries Specialist-Led Tour + Artist Brunch

Helen Wu

Curagenda presents its signature Lower East Side galleries tour and during the Armory Arts Week we had a special brunch event with artists. This Specialist guided tour features today’s prominent players shaping the LES contemporary art scene with first-hand insight of exhibitions on view from gallerists. The tour introduces 7 influential galleries and exhibitions hand selected by us. 

http://www.curagenda.com/les-gallery-tour

CURAGENDA'S ART BASEL HONG KONG & BEIJING VIP INSIDER ART EXPEDITION

Helen Wu

 image courtesy Art Basel

image courtesy Art Basel

Curagenda is delighted to announce its inaugural four-city art expedition to coincide with the fifth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong. The Art Basel Hong Kong and Beijing Art Expedition will offer a 2-part 9-day journey, with 5 days in Hong Kong, 4 days in Beijing, and a 1-day Pearl River Delta excursion. The experience will include an insider VIP program of Hong Kong, expert guided trip to Beijing, and a special tour to Shenzhen and Guangzhou. This exceptional art travel program put together by Curagenda Specialists will feature citywide highlights of Art Basel’s VIP program, as well as insider events from tastemakers in Hong Kong, and the best of contemporary art and cultural heritage in Beijing. 

“Curagenda wants to show the diversity and contrasts happening today in the most exciting cities in China. With roots in Guangzhou and family in Hong Kong, I’m very excited to be able to share my personal insight into the culture of the region.” – Helen Homan Wu, founder Curagenda 

 Exclusive Access to Duddell's Private Art Club by Curagenda&nbsp;

Exclusive Access to Duddell's Private Art Club by Curagenda 

Art Basel has contributed to making Hong Kong one of the most important hubs for contemporary art in Asia. The city has seen a significant increase in the number of art spaces, artists and collectors, influencing the quality and diversity of the regional art scene. Curagenda’s carefully crafted itinerary will allow guests to experience this dynamism, through engaging special events and activities. For example, the tour will take guests to Para Site, the most important art space in South Asia, to see the current exhibition and to meet the curators, as well as a visit to see an exhibition curated by Klaus Beisenbach and Peter Eleey from MoMA PS1 at K11 Art Foundation. In addition, Curagenda’s private tour will include the Liang Yi Museum where the exhibition “Reunions: A Collector’s Journey” will be on view and a visit to M+ Pavillion. During the week’s festivities, there will be opportunities to mingle at breakfasts, brunches, and art parties. As a member of Curagenda, guests will also have privileged access to Duddell’s, the acclaimed private art club, which is also a Michelin-starred restaurant founded by collector Alan Lo.  

 Art Central, Hong Kong

Art Central, Hong Kong

 M+ Pavillion

M+ Pavillion

During the second part of our trip, March 26 to 29, we visit Beijing, providing guests with Curagenda’s insight into the imperial capital. We unveil layers of this complex city from the spectacular Great Wall to the quiet and peaceful villages. Guests will experience an abandoned village transformed into a unique retreat, staying in the village homes with private Chinese gardens and spectacular views of the most well-preserved parts of the Wall. There will be intimate moments shared with local artists and guided studio visits. We will visit 798 art district, a must for any art lover visiting Beijing, to see the works of major artists both local and international, private collections and museums. A local expert with personal stories to tell, will provide a guided tour to the Forbidden City and and hutong (ancient alleyways). The highlight of the trip will be our gourmet indulgence that includes a royal kitchen, the best Peking duck and a secret gem private kitchen.

 Cold Ink Group Private Studio Visit in Beijing

Cold Ink Group Private Studio Visit in Beijing

Art Expedition Webpage:
http://www.curagenda.com/abhk-beijing-vip-stay

Zona MACO & Material Art Fair Mexico City

Helen Wu

zona-maco-material-2017_logo.jpg

(From the Zona MACO Press Room)

Established in 2002 by Zélika Garcia, Z Ⓢ ONAMACO is currently a platform of leading art fairs with four events that take place twice a year during February and September at Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City. Each year ZONAMACO México Arte Contemporáneo brings together the largest selection of leading and emerging international galleries. In addition, Zélika García established ZONAMACO Diseño in 2011, Z Ⓢ ONAMACO SALÓN DEL ANTICUARIO in 2014 and ZONAMACO FOTO in 2015, with the goal of covering and strengthening the design, antique and photography sectors in Mexico. 

Z ONAMACO México Arte Contemporáneo announces its edition number fourteen with the most representative selection of the international art world and reaffirming itself as the epicenter of collecting in Latin America , through more than 120 international galleries, with works from more than 1,500 artists.

The main section of the fair presents international leading galleries with pieces of the highest quality in painting, graphics, sculpture, installation, photography, video and new media, of the most representative contemporary artists from the global scene.

Confirmed galleries (In alphabetical order):
LUIS ADELANTADO | Mexico City; ARREDONDO\AROZARENA | Mexico City; ARRÓNIZ ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO | Mexico City; BLAIN|SOUTHERN | London/Berlin; BORTOLAMI | New York; GALERÍA LA CAJA NEGRA | Madrid; CANADA | New York; CARDI | Milan/London; CARRERASMUGICA | Bilbao; GALERÍA CAYÓN | Madrid; PATRICIA CONDE GALERÍA | Mexico City; GALLERIA CONTINUA | San Gimignano/Beijing/Les Moulins/Havana; CURRO | Guadalajara;  DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM | Berlin; DIVISION GALLERY | Montreal/Toronto; EDS | Mexico City; GALERÍA HEINRICH  EHRHARDT | Madrid; ELASTIC GALLERY | Stockholm; ESPACIO MÍNIMO | Madrid; NF | Madrid;  FIFI projects | Mexico City/Monterrey; MICHAEL FUCHS GALERIE | Berlin; GAGOSIAN | New York/Los Angeles/Paris/London/Hong Kong; GALERÍA HILARIO GALGUERA | Mexico City; GALERÍA DE ARTE MEXICANO GAM | Mexico City; GE | Monterrey; GLADSTONE GALLERY | New York; LAURENT GODIN | Paris; GALERÍA ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ | Madrid; GALERÍA ENRIQUE GUERRERO | Mexico City; HOUSE OF GAGA | Mexico City; KARMA | New York; PAUL KASMIN GALLERY | New York; SEAN KELLY | New York; TINA KIM GALLERY | New York; kurimanzutto | Mexico City; LE LABORATOIRE | Mexico City; GALERIE LELONG | New York/Paris; ALEXANDER LEVY | Berlin; LÉVY GORVY | New York/London/Geneva; LISSON GALLERY | London/Milan/New York; JAVIER LÓPEZ & FER FRANCÉS | Madrid; LUHRING AUGUSTINE | New York; MAI 36 GALERIE | Zurich; MARLBOROUGH CHELSEA | New York; MARSO | Mexico City; GALERIE NORDENHAKE | Stockholm/Berlin; OMR | Mexico City; GALLERIA LORCAN O'NEILL | Rome; ON STELLAR RAYS | New York; OVERDUIN & CO. | Los Angeles; PÁRAMO | Guadalajara; PARQUE GALERÍA | Ciudad de México; GALERÍA PELAIRES | Palma de Mallorca; GALERIE PERROTIN | Nueva York/París/Hong Kong/ Seoul; PROYECTO PARALELO | Ciudad de México; PROYECTOSMONCLOVA | Mexico City; ALMINE RECH | Paris/Brussels/London/New York; REGEN PROJECTS | Los Angeles; GALERÍA RGR+ART | Caracas; ROBERTS & TILTON | Los Angeles; LIA RUMMA | Milan/Naples; SALON 94 | New York; GALERIA FILOMENA SOARES | Lisbon; NILS STÆRK | Copenhagen; MARC STRAUS | New York; GALERIE MICHAEL STURM | Stuttgart; TIMOTHY TAYLOR | London; TIRO AL BLANCO | Guadalajara; TRAVESIA CUATRO | Madrid/Guadalajara; VENUS | New York/Los Angeles; VERMELHO | Sao Paulo; ANDRÉ VIANA | New York; von BARTHA | Basel/S-chanf; WALDEN | Buenos Aires; JEROME ZODO GALLERY | Londres; DAVID ZWIRNER | New York. 

 Courtesy Casa Maauad

Courtesy Casa Maauad

 

(From Material Art Fair Press Release)

Material Art Fair will return for its fourth edition during Mexico City’s most important week
for contemporary art. From Thursday, February 9th to Sunday, February 12th of 2017, Material
will take over two floors of Expo Reforma, hosting an international group of 50 exhibitors,
representing 15 countries and 28 cities.


Daniela Elbahara, Director of Material Art Fair, says: “We’re overjoyed to arrive at this fourth
edition, which is proof that our idea for an intimate, boutique fair experience has been a
tremendous success among collectors and curators as well as the general public. Material
has helped to establish a more exciting and diverse panorama for contemporary art in Mexico.”
In the interest of promoting the national scene, Material’s 2017 edition will feature a strong
selection of Mexican galleries, among them joségarcía ,mx, Lodos, Lulu, Yautepec and, for
the very first time, LABOR, one of Mexico’s most important and internationally recognized
galleries, which will be joining the fair’s principal section.

Mexico City-based architectural studio APRDELESP and the graphic designer, Carla Valdivia,
will transform Expo Reforma’s two floors, each featuring a layout in which the gallery spaces
are situated around a central courtyard that will serve as both social space and center for
activities, including IMMATERIAL, the fair’s first dedicated public program for performance.
Curated by Michelangelo Miccolis, IMMATERIAL will present a daring selection of works in
contemporary live practice by artists working with choreography and performance, blurring
the lines between performer and observer and questioning the conventions of an art fair itself.
Rodrigo Feliz, previously Director of Art Fairs and Sales at LABOR, joins Material as its new
Director of Exhibitor Relations, strengthening the fair’s reputation as one of Mexico’s most
refreshing and exciting art events with his ample international experience. “The quality of
exhibitors in 2017 is going to make this edition of Material the best one yet and will position
the fair as the Latin American referent among like-minded initiatives like Liste, Paris
Internationale, NADA and Independent,” Feliz comments.

 

View our Zona MACO Mexico City VIP Stay Package here

 

New Orleans Artist Expedition in Celebration of Rashaad Newsome's "Melange"

Helen Wu

 (image via w magazine)

(image via w magazine)

Curagenda in collaboration with De Buck Gallery presents a 2-day exclusive experience "Artist Expedition: Rashaad Newsome's NOLA" for the occasion of Rashaad's major homecoming solo exhibition Mélange at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans – an interdisciplinary presentation curated by Andrea Anderson. The New Orleans-born artist, renowned for his voguing performances and stunning collage work, is offering an exclusive insider’s experience of his hometown.

Guests will be introduced to Newsome’s world – New Orleans, a fascinating city unlike any other, with an incredible heritage and history, is a destination steeped in tradition influenced by a melting pot of cultures. In this 2-day trip, we will offer a private artist and curator-led tour of the museum show, while introducing you to the best of the city, its neighborhoods, people, local culture, Creole cooking, architecture, and perhaps most important of all – be inspired by this once-in-a-lifetime artist expedition.

View the details of this Artist Expedition here

 

Your Exclusive Visit to Paris Art Week 2016

Helen Wu

FIAC, the international art fair in its 43rd edition will be staged once again at the spectacular Grand Palais in Paris, presenting 185 galleries from 26 countries. This year’s festivities expands with two new sectors along with an exciting program of citywide events that makes this contemporary art show a must visit for collectors and art aficionados. The new On Site sector will showcase new sculptures and installations at Petit Palais along with the provocative Parades for FIAC, a performance festival held in various emblematic Parisian locations. Our performance picks include artists DD Dorvillier at Musée de l’Orangerie, Tim Etchells at Palais de la Découverte, and Maria Hassabi at Musée du Louvre

Curagenda will arrange your exclusive visit to the city of lights during FIAC art week, including VIP events, private collection visits, private dinners, artists breakfasts, behind the scenes with artists, guided tour of the art fairs and Parisian galleries. As part of your curated agenda, we feature the satellite fairs, Paris Internationale and Asia Now Paris, the only boutique art fair in Europe to focus solely on contemporary Asian art, promoting the artistic diversity in those regions. 

We offer tailor-made packages that will make it convenient for individual or group visits, or simply for your romantic art trip to Paris. Your exclusive FIAC art week experience can be self-guided or accompanied by Curagenda specialists. As always, we are at hand to curate your art trip, showing you the best of the city, including gallery tours, culinary delights, private shopping, and chateau excursions for you and your guests.

More information on Curagenda Art Week VIP Program here:  
curagenda.com/fiac-art-stay-package

Contact us:
info (at) curagenda.com

 

Frieze, London Calling

Helen Wu

 via Frieze

via Frieze

View Curagenda FRIEZE London Package Here

The 14th edition of Frieze London will take place a week earlier this year, opening 6–9 October with a Preview Day on Wednesday 5 October. This year’s fair brings together more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries, showcasing today’s most significant artists, alongside the fair’s celebrated programme of ambitious new artist commissions and talks. In 2016 the fair will debut a new gallery section, The Nineties, recreating seminal exhibitions from the decade, alongside the return of sections Focus and Live, the definitive platforms for emerging galleries and performance art. Frieze London coincides with Frieze Masters and the Frieze Sculpture Park, offering collectors, scholars and art enthusiasts an unparalleled cultural experience.

The Frieze Sculpture Park will return to the English Gardens in The Regent’s Park, creating a major free cultural attraction at the heart of London. Curated by Clare Lilley and featuring large-scale artworks presented by galleries from both Frieze London and Frieze Masters. 

Victoria Siddall, Director, Frieze Fairs said, ‘Frieze has become known for its strong curated sections and this year I am particularly excited to see Nicolas Trembley’s selection of artists who changed the conversation in the 1990s. This adds to the great range and diversity of work shown throughout the fair by the world’s most interesting galleries … In the fair’s non-profit programme, Raphael Gygax will give a new perspective on Frieze Projects, contributing to the many elements which will make this an unmissable week.’ 

A New Section: The Nineties
Selected by Geneva-based curator Nicolas Trembley, galleries will revisit seminal exhibitions from the 1990s, highlighting key collaborations between dealers and artists that have had a lasting impact on contemporary art. Following significant institutional attention to this decade – from the New Museum’s 2013 exhibition ‘NYC 1993’ to the group show ‘Récit d’un temps court’ currently on view at Mamco (Geneva) – this ambitious section will recreate critical moments that first took place in galleries across London, Paris, Cologne and New York. The Nineties features galleries that are both new to the fair and presented within the main section, as well as era-defining spaces that no longer exist. 

 courtesy Frieze

courtesy Frieze

 Samson Young via SCMP

Samson Young via SCMP

Focus: emerging talents
Focus is the definitive  destination to discover emerging talents from Berlin to Shanghai, featuring 36 galleries all under 12 years of age. A wave of new-generation London galleries join Focus for the first time this year, including Chewday’s, Arcadia Missa, Seventeen and Southard Reid. Taiwan and Guatemala will be represented at Frieze London for the first time, with newcomers Chi-Wen Gallery and Proyectos Ultravioleta. The section will also build on strong representations from the emerging scenes in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Shanghai and Berlin.

The 2016 edition will also see Raphael Gygax’s debut as curator of Frieze Projects. The program of artist commissions will feature Sibylle Berg & Claus Richter, Coco Fusco, Martin Soto Climent, Julie Verhoeven, Samson Young, and the winner of the Frieze Artist Award, Yuri Pattison.


Frieze is the world’s leading platform for modern and contemporary art for scholars, connoisseurs, collectors and the general public alike. Frieze comprises four magazines—frieze, frieze d/e, Frieze Masters Magazine and Frieze Week—and three international art fairs—Frieze London, Frieze Masters and Frieze New York.

Frieze was founded in 1991 by Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp, with the launch of frieze magazine, the leading international magazine of contemporary art and culture. Frieze London art fair launched in 2003, which takes place each October in The Regent’s Park, London. In 2012, they launched Frieze New York, which occurs each May. Frieze Masters, which coincides with Frieze London in October, is dedicated to art from ancient to modern. Frieze fairs are sponsored by Deutsche Bank. 

(Source: Frieze press release)



Questionnaire: Sharon Zhu (House of Egorn)

Helen Wu

By: Helen Homan Wu


On a pleasant Summer weekday in New York (before we were hit by the brutal heatwave), I met up with Sharon Zhu for lunch at Má Pêche, the work of celebrity chef David Chang. We were both excited about the menu and also dishes that were not on the menu but spontaneously appearing on push carts and trays. What a brilliant concept to serve a la carte haute cuisine in a Chinese dim sum tradition.

Sharon has just returned from a long journey trekking through South America, and New York City was her layover break before returning to London, where she lives. The lofty ambiance in the restaurant was perfectly suited for an intimate conversation about her travels, comparing the New York and Berlin art scenes, and her gallery House of Egorn. Surprisingly we didn’t touch on Brexit at all, but was talking passionately about Cuba and China.

She founded House of Egorn, a contemporary art gallery in Berlin, just over a year ago and has already been making quite an impression internationally. Her gallery program definitely stands out amongst the Berlin art community and at large, as one that focuses on “a new generation of artists from the Far-East and 'Far-West’”.

We continued our art and travel conversation over email, followed by a questionnaire, which inaugurates our new 10 questions for young collectors series.

 

What's the best exhibition or artwork that was worth a trek across the globe to see?
Rather than singling out one exhibition or artwork, I would put Naoshima island in Japan very close to, if not right at the top of my all-time art pilgrimages. You literally get to see just a few works in each of the museums (Lee Ufan, James Turrell, Walter de Maria, Monet waterlilies, among others), but the way each and every piece is presented and perceived (I don't want to give too much detail away - the experience of a first visit there should not be spoiled), the whole setting of the island, the journey to get there - it all adds up to something truly unique (this is such an overused word in our day and age, but in this case entirely appropriate). Of course the almost total lack of tourist throngs is an important factor in creating the serenity of the place, so I always hesitate to tell people about it, but then I can't help urging everyone to go as it's so utterly beautiful.

 Benesse Art Site Naoshima, Japan

Benesse Art Site Naoshima, Japan

As a visitor, what do you look for in an art fair? in a biennial?
Something that's entirely unexpected and truly breathtaking for its freshness - if it genuinely moves me on some level, then that's real icing on the cake. But it happens rarely in an art fair context - everyone's too busy doing business! It's much easier to actually focus on the art in a biennial, especially if you go after the opening days. Also, I think it's really important that biennials draw real locals in rather than creating this art world bubble that's completely disconnected with people who live and work in the city. I always enjoy going to the Havana Biennial for this very reason. Almost everyone you meet in the street has an opinion about some artwork or another they've just seen in a Biennial event!
 

“I think it's really important that biennials draw real locals in rather than creating this art world bubble that's completely disconnected with people who live and work in the city.”


Favorite and most unique hotel you stayed in?
I'm not a big fan of luxury in rooms when it comes to traveling - I'm almost never there except to sleep, during both business and personal trips. Location is usually on top of my list of priorities, as I like to be in the midst of things and be able to walk everywhere. And also, quite often, it's not at all the material side of things but the people who really make a place special. I just returned from a 10-week road trip across South America 3 days ago with my husband and our two-year-old daughter and we stayed in 20 difference places! 

One of my favorite hotels on this trip was Casa Gangotena in the center of Quito. The view you get from the roof terrace is outstanding, and the service was impeccable. I go to Havana about once a year as we work with a number of Cuban artists at House of Egorn, my gallery in Berlin, there's a casa particular (private B&B) where I always stay - the owner knows exactly what I want to eat and how I like my stay there to be. It's a beautiful colonial house and every morning she serves fresh mango juice made from fruit hanging outside my bedroom window. Digging deeper into the past, my husband and I did an extensive road trip in Syria back in 2009 (we've been to quite a few 'unusual' places in our time) and I remember the Old Vine Hotel in central Damascus fondly - most of the city must be unrecognizable now, tragically.

 

"there's a casa particular where I always stay...It's a beautiful colonial house and every morning (the owner) serves fresh mango juice made from fruit hanging outside my bedroom window.”

 

Do you have an art advisor? a travel advisor?
Yes, in both cases myself. I'm a connoisseur of quite a few things but probably an expert on both these subjects.

 

What is art for?
To lift our lives that little but crucial bit, from merely wonderful to truly transcendental.

 


“To lift our lives that little but crucial bit, from merely wonderful to truly transcendental.”

 

What are you reading?
I have just started 'A Little Life' by Hanya Yanagihara, which my husband read during our trip and told me it was the first book that had moved him greatly in a long time. Also, concurrently, 'Lives of the Artists, Lives of the Architects' by Hans Ulrich Obrist. He's doing an ongoing interview with two young artists who will show at House of Egorn in November and the transcription will probably become the exhibition text - I'm immensely excited about it.

 

What are your 5 favorite cities?
In no qualitative order: London for theatre, museums, history and the river; New York for restaurants, convenience and endless energy; Shanghai for nostalgia (I spent the first 18 years of my life there) and ability to transform itself ceaselessly; Havana for the beautiful people, the Malecon, and its potential in general; and finally, of course, Berlin, for the galleries, parks, cake shops (we have the best one in the city around the corner from our flat there) and artists.

 

What’s your advice for someone traveling to Berlin for an art trip?
Plan at least a half day each to focus on the gallery districts of Mitte, Potse (where House of Egorn is located, right opposite Neue Nationalgalerie which will re-open next year with a thrilling new design by David Chipperfield) and the area east of Checkpoint Charlie. During Berlin Art Week the whole city will be overrun with international art world crowds, but it's always the international community of artists who have made Berlin their home (including major names such as Olafur Eliasson, Ai Weiwei, Douglas Gordon and many more) that make the city so special.

 

“During Berlin Art Week the whole city will be overrun with international art world crowds, but it's always the community of artists who have made Berlin their home (including Olafur Eliasson, Ai Weiwei, Douglas Gordon and many more) that make the city so special.”

 

What’s your collecting philosophy?
Try to remain sensible, sticking to a certain framework/theme. But, if something really grips you, you need to listen to your heart and just try to make the budget work...!

 Yi Dai "Misfits, Offcuts and Castaways" installation view at House of Egorn

Yi Dai "Misfits, Offcuts and Castaways" installation view at House of Egorn

 

Where is your next destination?
Well I'm off to Berlin again next Monday but that's not a 'destination' - that's work commute (I do it 2-3 times a month, between London and Berlin)! So the next place that I'll be visiting for the first time is Krakow, in a few weeks. People keep marvelling at the fact that we haven't slowed down our travelling pace since the little one arrived - if anything we've been travelling more with her.



 

DESTE Foundation and the Magic of Hydra, Greece

Helen Wu

 DESTE Project Space - Slaughterhouse, Hydra

DESTE Project Space - Slaughterhouse, Hydra

 Entrance of Deste Foundation, Athens (image via Deste Foundation)

Entrance of Deste Foundation, Athens (image via Deste Foundation)

Since its inception, DESTE—the Greek word for “look”—has been an international organizer of contemporary art exhibitions and a global supporter of arts-based projects and publications. In the early years of its foundation, the Foundation supported exhibitions that showcased the trends of art throughout the 80s and 90s in Greece, Cyprus, and Switzerland, emphasizing the universality of contemporary art.  The Foundation was established in Geneva in 1983 by collector Dakis Joannou. 

If you are already planning your Summer Holiday on the Greek Islands, then you should definitely see the recently opened exhibition "The Equilibrists” a project by DESTE Foundation and the New Museum presented at Benaki Museum in Athens. The exhibition is curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari and Helga Christoffersen with Massimiliano Gioni. The Equilibrists brings together work by a new generation of young Greek and Cypriot artists - 33 artists - working in Athens and abroad.

 The Equilibrists installation view&nbsp;

The Equilibrists installation view 

Meanwhile, the DESTE Project Space - Slaughterhouse, Hydra located on the Greek island of Hydra, a magical island of art and beauty, is a must visit. True to its name, the project space is located at what was previously a slaughterhouse, and only open to the public during Summer months - it is the ultimate destination in Greece for contemporary art and culture. This Summer there will be a major exhibition of the Italian artist Roberto Cuoghi at the Slaughterhouse and on the island of Hydra. Previous artists who have shown at the Slaughterhouse Project Space include Paul Chan, Pawel Althamer, Urs Fischer, Doug Aitken, Maurizio Cattelan, Matthew Barney and Elizabeth Peyton. 

 Paul Chan "Hippias Minor" at Slaughterhouse, Hydra

Paul Chan "Hippias Minor" at Slaughterhouse, Hydra

As always, Curagenda is at hand to arrange for your exclusive art stay itinerary for a most enriching experience. Our selection of boutique hotels include  A for Athens and Bratsera - for a charming old world elegance and Hotel Grande Bretagne - for a 5-star luxury experience.

 Hotel Grande Bretagne

Hotel Grande Bretagne

 

Contact us to start planning your art trip

The Clarion Circle feature: Art Travel for Serious Collectors

Helen Wu

Art Travel for Serious Collectors

Art tour professionals want to share their city, their passion for art and their expertise. This may include exclusive visits to private collections, studio tours and access to the invaluable knowledge of art insiders.

Helen Homan Wu, of Curagenda, encourages her guests to “…utilize every minute they have with our specialists to get the most out of the experience in whatever goals they have in mind.” Her company offers bespoke art tourism to important destinations—including Berlin and Hong Kong. These are geared toward collectors and not the casual art aficionados satisfied with a day or two of major museum visits.

“There is so much happening today in the art world and my focus is to create more personalized art expeditions. As for the travel industry, there is definitely a neglect in offering products focused around art and culture, and that is Curagenda’s starting point. I approach the business with an insider’s point of view, largely through me and my associates’ personal networks, places we have been to, artists and shows we have traveled across the world to see, in order to offer quality travel and inspirational art experiences, and intimate encounters with each city for our clients.” Helen Homan Wu

 

Art Tours are Art Adventures at Home and Abroad

Treat yourself to a gallery-hopping art experience in your hometown. It might be a great opportunity to introduce your kids to art or to discover a cool, new, off-the-beaten-track gallery scene. 

Check out the contemporary art scene wherever you travel—with the help of a local art tour guide. You might even pick up a treasure for your collection—so much better than an ordinary souvenir of your trip! Or enhance your experience of art fairs and foreign travel with the help of an expert insider. Art adventures await you wherever you go.

Walk on Water with Christo and Jeanne Claude's Floating Piers

Helen Wu

 image: Wolfgang Volz

image: Wolfgang Volz

By now you would have caught the wind about Christo and Jeanne Claude's "The Floating Piers", a large scale public art installation 'floating' on Lake Iseo, Italy. The installation was just completed, and for sixteen days from June 18 through July 3, 2016, 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes. As The Floating Piers rise just above the surface of the water, it allows visitors to experience this work of art by walking on it from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo. Lake Iseo is located 100 kilometers east of Milan and 200 kilometers west of Venice. 

“Those who experience The Floating Piers will feel like they are walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale,” said Christo. “The light and water will transform the bright yellow fabric to shades of red and gold throughout the sixteen days.”

In the spring and summer of 2014, Christo, Vladimir Yavachev – Operations Director, Wolfgang Volz – Project Manager, and Josy Kraft – Registrar/Curator, scouted the lakes of Northern Italy. Along with Project Director Germano Celant, they found Lake Iseo to be the most inspiring location. Since that time they have worked alongside team members from around the world to realize The Floating Piers.

The Floating Piers was first conceived by Christo and Jeanne-Claude together in 1970. It is Christo’s first large-scale project since Christo and Jeanne-Claude realized The Gates in 2005, and since Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009. After the 16-day exhibition, all components will be removed and industrially recycled.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude have a long history of creating projects in Italy: Wrapped Fountain and Wrapped Medieval Tower in Spoleto, 1968; Wrapped Monuments in Milan, 1970; and The Wall – Wrapped Roman Wall in Rome, 1973–74

 image: Wolfgang Volz

image: Wolfgang Volz

More information here:
http://www.thefloatingpiers.com

9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art Announcement

Helen Wu

View Curagenda Berlin Biennale Art Stay Program Here

(from the press release)

The 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) and curated by DIS, will seek to materialize the paradoxes that increasingly make up the world in 2016: the virtual as the real, nations as brands, people as data, culture as capital, wellness as politics, happiness as GDP, and so on. 

The Berlin Biennale is not in a position to occupy “abandoned” spaces, acting as a would-be primer for private acquisition, yet it is also unable to wash over the city like the cultural force of a new product release. Recasting a relationship in which the city makes the biennial but the biennial also returns to refresh the cultural capital in its image, the 9th Berlin Biennale aims to shape-shift across multiple sites, each one releasing a whiff of contemporary “paradessence” (paradox + essence).

Pariser Platz is the point of departure. An iconic tourist trap, it is the site where Michael Jackson once dangled his baby from his Adlon Hotel balcony in a private-public performance that foretold the throngs of selfie sticks today framing the subjects on this site of historical record. The square is surrounded by largely unseen networks of corporate and national powers; Lockheed Martin, Allianz Stiftungsforum, DZ Bank, and BP Europa SE reside alongside the US and French embassies.

Akademie der Künste on Pariser Platz is a historical site that has been sheathed in a large glass building. In immediate proximity to the government district it exemplifies the contemporary visual codes of the state: a national legacy with a sheen of transparency. The Berlin Biennale will occupy the Akademie’s transitory spaces, event spaces, and passageways.

The ESMT European School of Management and Technology business school is a building that once housed the Staatsrat (State Council) of the GDR. The building’s socialist past is superimposed with the contemporary codes of global business; state socialist aesthetics preside over live feeds of the German stock market and state-of-the-art business education facilities for future executives.

On the Landwehr Canal in Kreuzberg, a former telecommunications bunker has been refurbished and renewed as the extensive complex of The Feuerle Collection. A private collection of museum scale open to the public, the space marks the steady influx of collectors to Berlin—and the kinds of public-private partnerships driving its cultural economy.

The Blue-Star sightseeing boat by Reederei Riedel will double as an exhibition venue and place for events and performances. Its course will follow the main route favored by tour boats on the Spree, passing Museum Island and the city’s government district, and casting the viewer as tourist, the signature collector and purveyor of contemporary experience.

The site of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art functions as a point of continuity within the historical legacy of the Berlin Biennale. Its neighborhood is the publicized image of Berlin’s domestic sphere. Once dilapidated buildings with bright luxury interiors and permalancers in boutique cafés are counterposed with the public stage of Pariser Platz.

Signaling a biennial that seeks to act on the present yet is incapable of institutionally housing it, the 9th Berlin Biennale’s first active venue is the website, a feed for content both in and not in the Berlin Biennale: www.berlinbiennale.de.

Akademie der Künste
Pariser Platz 4
10117 Berlin, Germany

ESMT European School of Management and Technology
Schlossplatz 1
10178 Berlin, Germany

The Feuerle Collection
Hallesches Ufer 70
10963 Berlin, Germany

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststraße 69
10117 Berlin, Germany

The Berlin Biennale is organized by KW Institute for Contemporary Art and funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation).