Paint the Town: Transformative Collectors

by Editorial

Transformer’s supporters get an inside view of artworks selected by Washington’s top collectors.

Guests Andrea Pollan and Nadine Gabai-Botero take in the Podesta's collection. Photo by Tony Powell.

Guests Andrea Pollan and Nadine Gabai-Botero take in the Podesta's collection. Photo by Tony Powell.

Collecting art is an intensely personal process. A painting or sculpture can evoke certain memories, stir up strong emotions, or simply be visually appealing. “upon hearing from committed, sometimes admittedly ‘obsessed’ collectors on how and why works were acquired, the consistent message they all share is that they collect artwork they loce, that speaks to them, that brings joy by continuing to peak their curiosity,” says Victoria Reis, co-founder of Transformer, the edgy Washington visual arts organization.

In 2008, Transformer launched its “Collector’s View” series to bring art lovers to the homes of some of the capital’s top collectors. It provided a unique opportunity for art acquisitions to not only speak about their collections, but to shed some light on the important relationship between artists and patrons. The most recent “Collector’s View” events took place at the homes of Judy Penski and Robin Rose, Heather and Tony Podesta, Mirella and Dani Levinas, and Robert and Aimee Lehrman.

Walking through Penski and Rose‘s 1955 Trudeau-designed Forest Hills house brings the work of mid-century modernism to life. The work of furniture designers and woodworkers such as George Nakashima, Hans Wegner, and Carl Auböck enhance 1960’s paintings by District artists such as Thomas Downing, Gene Davis, and Leon Berkowitz. The result is a harmonious and philosophic whole.

Works by female artists anchor Heather and Tony Podesta‘s private collection in a light-filled backdrop against which 16 leading contemporary photographers, painters, and sculptors, including Marina Abramovic, Margaret Benyon, Berlinde de Bruychere, and Beatriz Milhazes, shine.

Mirella and Dani Levinas have cultivated a collection with international flair in their historic Georgetown residence. Their very personal anthology features a concentration in Latin American art with contemporary paintings, sculptures, photography, and even videos by emerging artists such as Cildo Meireles, Waltercio Caldas, Vik Muniz, and Cristian Segur.

VIEW PHOTOS FOR Transformer Collector’s View II. Robert & Aimee Lehrman
VIEW PHOTOS FOR Transformer Collector’s View IV. Tony & Heather Podesta

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