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  1. Obama portraits are going on tour. June 2021 - June 2022. Art Institute of Chicago (June 18, 2021 - Aug. 15, 2021) Brooklyn Museum (Aug. 27, 2021 - Oct. 24, 2021) Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Nov. 5, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022) High Museum of Art, Atlanta (Jan. 14, 2022 - March 13, 2022) Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (March 25, 2022 - May 30, 2022)
  2. We stopped in for a pre-dinner glass of wine at Dio Wine Bar on H Street. Overall, a favorable first impression. The space is cozy, with a nice bar and a handful of tables. The feel is organic wood with a mix of industrial: concrete floor, exposed duct work etc. Dio features about 100 wines, with about a dozen by the glass ($11-$18 range) and about a dozen cocktails ($12-$15 range). The wine list features a good selection of bottles in the $40-$60 range. The food menu is a small selection of cheese, olives, and charcuterie along with a couple of salads and sandwiches. The staff was very welcoming. On a chilly Friday night around 7pm the place was about half full with a laid back vibe. H Street isn't the most convenient area for us to get to, but we look forward to returning.
  3. The smoked chiogga beet toast. If you look up thread you can see the evolution of this dish. I'd say it is much better composed now. Version One (2018) Version Two (2019) 2020 version:
  4. A tasty return to Fancy Radish. We arrived promptly for a 7:30pm reservation on a Friday night, and waited and waited, finally seated a little after 8pm. A little annoying. However, Fancy Radish immediately brought out an on-the-house order of the excellent Rutabaga Fondue. Which we immediately inhaled. So good, we ordered a second round. Also excellent was the Smoked Chiogga Beet Toast with smoked tofu, crushed cucumber, tomato, capers. This dish is basically a vegan lox and bagel knock off. I would say this is a must order. Fancy Radish, braised green meat radish, yuzu avocado, smoked tamari, shiso was a fine dish, but didn't really stand out. We felt that if it was a vegan/veg order at a non-vegan restaurant we would think it was a really good effort, but at Fancy Radish it's more of a middle of the pack dish. Peruvian Potatoes aji amarillo, cilantro, peanut, dried olive was the miss of the night. The sauce was excellent, but the dry, almost mealy potatoes didn't do it justice. Frankly, the potato looked like an ordinary Russet potato. We all felt they need to rethink the potato element on this one. Trumpet Mushrooms as fazzoletti, grape tomatoes, basil was excellent. The sauce is lick the bowl clean good. We considered ordering a second round. Charred Romanesco whipped sesame turnip, kimchi vinaigrette somewhat suffered the same fate as the Fancy Radish dish, good, not great, wasn't a stand out. Spicy Dan Dan Noodles, sichuan pepper, sesame, five spice glazed mushrooms kinda needed to add something else to the party. It's a plate of noodles. The Dan Dan sauce is nice, definitely spicy, but the mushrooms didn't add much. Perhaps some other veg element would help. Seared Maitake Mushroom, celery root fritter, grilled celery salad, smoked remoulade, was a dish where the individual elements didn't really work together. They seemed like individual components that were plonked on a plate. We all agreed that the Trumpet Mushroom dish was superior. For dessert, the clear winner was the ice cream of the day, which was Speculoos flavored (think Biscoff Cookies). Seriously good, I'd put this up against any other ice cream in the District. The rest of the desserts were pretty solid, including the Sticky Toffee Pudding and Mud Pie. Fancy Radish also provided us with a round of on-the-house amaro to pair with desserts (I'm assuming it was the Amaro Sfumato and it was quite tasty). Despite the long wait for the table, everyone was happy. Especially the vegan sister-in-law. We all put the Rutabaga Fondue, Smoked Chiogga Beet Toast and Trumpet Mushrooms, as well as the ice cream, as the best dishes of the night. Also, we thought this meal was better than the meal we had over Thanksgiving weekend at V Street in Philadelphia. We have not yet dined at the mother ship Vedge.
  5. Sherry's Wine and Spirits in Woodley Park usually has an interesting beer selection.
  6. Sesame Noodles, Fried Tofu, Crispy Egg
  7. Press release for Rumors of War "First unveiled in Times Square, New York on Sept. 27, 2019 as a partnership between Times Square Arts, Sean Kelly Gallery and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Rumors of War is Wiley’s first monumental public sculpture and largest work-to-date, continuing the artist’s career-long investigation into the politics of representation, race, gender and power. Mounted proudly on its large stone pedestal, Rumors of War is the artist’s direct response to the ubiquitous Confederate sculptures that populate the United States, particularly in the American South. Standing at just under three stories tall, Wiley’s sculpture depicts a young, African American figure dressed in urban streetwear and sitting astride a massive horse in a striking pose based on the equestrian monument to Confederate States Army general James Ewell Brown “J.E.B.” Stuart on Richmond’s Monument Avenue. The work was inspired when Wiley was visiting Richmond for the opening of his retrospective exhibition, Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, at VMFA in June 2016. After encountering the city’s Confederate monuments, the artist felt compelled to extend his stay to study and reflect upon the sculptures and their legacy. Kehinde Wiley states, “The inspiration for Rumors of War is war—is an engagement with violence. Art and violence have for an eternity held a strong narrative grip with each other. Rumors of War attempts to use the language of equestrian portraiture to both embrace and subsume the fetishization of state violence. Rumors of War is also about openness, about a new America. I am honored to have Rumors of War in Richmond, in a context which is consequential on a level that goes well beyond museum walls, exposing the beautiful and terrible potentiality of art to sculpt the language of domination.” Rumors of War encourages visitors to consider broader perspectives on traditional narratives of heroism and representation in American history, culture and with national monuments. In the early 2000s, Wiley created a series of paintings entitled Rumors of War, which explored a repositioning of the iconography of wealth and warfare in historical paintings. The largescale works in this series anachronistically replaced the traditionally white, aristocratic subjects typical of the genre with young, African American men in street clothes. VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges states, “This is a historic moment for us all. It is a moment that’s not just for the museum, not just for Richmond, not just for Virginia, and not just for the United States of America, but for all people. As we think about the inspiration that art brings to the world, where art can change our lives, and how art can make the world as we know it better today and for tomorrow, few people have been able to capture these possibilities as well as Kehinde Wiley with the unveiling of Rumors or War. We are proud to be its permanent home.” Wiley is perhaps best known for his portrait of President Barack Obama and his vibrant portrayals of contemporary African American and African-Diasporic individuals that subvert the hierarchies and conventions of European and American portraiture. Seeking to challenge the lack of representation of black and brown men and women in our dominant visual, historical, and cultural narratives, Wiley’s subjects have ranged from street-cast individuals that the artist encountered while traveling around the world to many of the most important and well-renowned African-American cultural and political figures of our generation, including The Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Michael Jackson, Carrie Mae Weems and President Barack Obama. Sean Kelly states, “In his work, Kehinde has consistently addressed the historical imbalance of the representation of the depiction of the black body in cultural and art historical context. At the same time, he has virtually singlehandedly reinvigorated and reimagined the genres of figurative painting and traditional portraiture for the 21st century. Without question, Kehinde Wiley is amongst the most influential, provocative and compelling artists of our time."
  8. "The NewOnes, will free Us, by Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu, inaugurates an annual commission to animate The Met's historic facade. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt and completed in 1902, the facade features four niches that were always intended to house free-standing sculptures, but have long lain empty. In filling them now with Mutu's extraordinary sculptures, the Museum brings to fruition a dream 117 years in the making. Mutu has responded to The Met's invitation by creating four bronze sculptures, individually titled The Seated I, II, III, and IV (2019). As with all of her work, these pieces engage in a critique of gender and racial politics that is as pointed as it is poetic and fantastic. With The NewOnes, will free Us, the artist has reimagined a motif common to the history of both Western and African art: the caryatid, a sculpted figure, almost always female, meant to serve as a means of either structural or metaphorical support. Whether carved out of wood for the prestige stool of a West African king or chiseled out of marble for a building on the Athenian Acropolis, the caryatid has always been confined to her role as load-bearer. For her part, Mutu stages a feminist intervention, liberating the caryatid from her traditional duties and her secondary status. Mutu does so, moreover, in the context of a Neoclassical facade, whose original architects sought to convey a far more conservative set of values. Simultaneously celestial and humanoid, each sculpture is unique, with individualized hands, facial features, ornamentation, and patination. Mutu's embellishments take a great deal of inspiration from customs practiced by specific groups of high-ranking African women. The horizontal and vertical coils that sheathe the figures' bodies, functioning as garment and armor all in one, reference beaded bodices and circular necklaces, while the polished discs set into different parts of the sculptures' heads allude to lip plates. Belonging to no one time or place, Mutu's hybrid figures are invariably stately, resilient, and self-possessed. They announce their authority and autonomy. Appearing to have recently arrived on the facade of The Met, they are the "new ones" who bring word of new ideas and new perspectives. The NewOnes, will free Us constitutes one of Mutu's most important and remarkable bodies of work to date, the culmination of two decades of sustained artistic experimentation and rigorous research into the relationship between power, culture, and representation."
  9. Dark Star Park by Nancy Holt in Rosslyn.
  10. One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection is a tribute to the life and practice of Yayoi Kusama, a visionary artist whose revelatory practice has captivated audiences around the world. Building on the Hirshhorn’s blockbuster 2017 exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, this new exhibition affirms Kusama’s legacy within the Museum’s collection and art history with three significant new acquisitions. One with Eternity will showcase the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection of works by Kusama, including two of her Infinity Mirror Rooms—her first and one of her most recent—that create a dazzling sensation of never-ending space. These transcendent rooms will be exhibited alongside an early painting; sculptures, including Pumpkin (2016) and Flowers—Overcoat (1964); and photographs of the artist. This exhibition honors Kusama’s distinctive vision of self-obliteration by exploring its development across media while also underscoring the Museum’s mission: to present the most exciting art and ideas of our time. Among the additions to the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection is Kusama’s milestone, Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field (Floor Show) (1965/2017), the first of the artist’s immersive installations to transform the intense repetition of her earlier paintings and works on paper into a perceptual and participatory experience. The exhibition will also debut one of Kusama’s most recent rooms to Washington, DC, audiences. Born in Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan in 1929, Kusama fought against great odds to immigrate to the United States in 1957, settling in New York the following year and becoming a permanent resident in 1963. Kusama’s work is characterized by a remarkable consistency of vision, with her earliest works on paper already demonstrating the profound world view that she has steadily deepened throughout her seven-decade career. Owing to the nature of the artwork, free same-day Timed Passes will be distributed daily at the Museum starting at 9 am throughout the run of the exhibition, April 4 through Sept. 20, 2020.
  11. The NY Times 2019 52 Places Traveler, Sebastian Modak, spent time in Da Nang, apparently famous for its beaches, new fancy resorts, and food scene. Da Nang is a tourist hub for visiting Hue, Hoi An, and the My Son ruins. Eating My Way Through Vietnam's Most Livable City He recommends using the ride-hailing service Grab as well as taking a Da Nang Food Tour (info in the article)
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