We welcome you to browse this year’s EPIC Design issue, where we’ve featured a few of our favorite design concepts, and available inventory.
Read the issue HERE.
Nine D.H. Lawrence paintings seized by Scotland Yard almost a century ago from a London art gallery will be displayed at a ticketed event inside a luxury Paradise Valley home, beginning August 16. Considered obscene by a British law still apparently in effect, the oil paintings, in pastoral, mythological settings, celebrate nudity, physicality and raw sexuality and suggest references to the great English writer’s tempestuous private life.
Known to Lawrence enthusiasts worldwide, the works are the property of Bob Sahd, owner of the RC Gorman Navajo Gallery, 7116 E. Main Street, in Old Town Scottsdale. Sahd owns 15 galleries nationwide specializing in the work of the celebrated Native American artist, who was born in Chinle, Arizona, in 1931. He died in 2005.
The Sahd family have stewarded the Lawrence paintings for decades at their historic Hotel La Fonda in Taos, New Mexico. “The showing in this beautiful Paradise Valley home kicks off a world tour for the artworks,” he says. “We are looking at sharing them with the world.”
Author of novels such as Sons and Lovers (1913), Women in Love (1915) and the very controversial, and also once banned, Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928), as well as short stories, essays and travel books, the globetrotting Lawrence (1885–1930) and wife Frieda visited the thriving arts town 70 miles north of Santa Fe three times during the early 1920s, staying a total of 18 months.
“I would like the paintings to enjoy greater exposure so that more people can experience them,” Sahd says. “We have had people travel from all over the world to see them at La Fonda and have had some offers to purchase them over the years. I just feel that the artwork is so famous because of its illustrious author it would be good for more eyeballs to see them while we still own them.”
“Just as with the resort-style home where we are showing them, the D.H. Lawrence collection has not been seen by many, and we are looking forward to sharing both the paintings and the splendor of this Paradise Valley estate,” says Frank Aazami, RLSIR Brand Ambassador, principal of the Private Client Group, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, Scottsdale. “Both are bold in style, rare like no other and so special in many ways. We call them Sotheby’s ‘Private Reserve.’”
Taos Tranquility and the Lash of London
Mabel Dodge Sterne Luhan, the Buffalo, New York, socialite and arts patron, welcomed Lawrence and his wife, Frieda, to her Taos home on September 11, 1922, the author’s 37th birthday. After moving to Taos in 1917, she attracted a group of artists to her circle, including Georgia O’Keeffe and Lady Dorothy Brett.
Lawrence later recalled the life-changing significance of the New Mexico visit: “In the magnificent fierce morning of New Mexico, one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly and the old world gave way to the new.”
New Mexico and the Southwest were revelations of light and color, a dramatic contrast to his bleak Nottinghamshire, England, mining youth, dark, cold, dreary and smudged with coal dust: “the vast amphitheatre of lofty, indomitable desert . . . What Splendour!”
The eccentric but generous Luhan gifted the Lawrences 176 acres of land 20 miles north of town, the Kiowa Ranch, named for the ancient Native American trail still used by the Taos Pueblo in the area. In return, Frieda gave Mabel the original manuscript of Sons and Lovers.
She later willed the ranch to the University of New Mexico (UNM) as a public memorial to Lawrence, and it has become one of the area’s major attractions, now known as the D.H Lawrence Ranch. Here his ashes, so goes one story, were mixed in with the concrete in an altar of a small chapel honoring the writer.
After leaving Taos, the Lawrences continued to travel extensively and returned to England, where he showed his paintings at the Dorothy Warren Gallery, including the nine being exhibited in Paradise Valley: A Holy Family, Dance Sketch, Fight with Amazon, Flight Back to Paradise, Nymphs and Fauns, Rape of the Sabine, Red Willow Trees, Summer Dawn and The Kiss.
The University of Texas has three others from this exhibition, including Boccaccio Story and Resurrection, at its Humanities Research Centre in Austin. Private collectors have others.
At the time of the show, Lawrence was being closely watched by government, press and public: Lady Chatterley’s Lover, published a year before, was considered obscene under British law because of its ripe vocabulary and frank references to sexual acts.
In fact, it was not until 1960 that the Penguin Books unexpurgated edition appeared in England, and the publisher had to defend it against the standards of the 1959 Obscene Publications Act, which required a demonstration of “literary merit.” Fortunately, distinguished English cultural historians and critics defended the book, including E.M. Forster, Helen Gardner, Raymond Williams and Norman St. John-Stevas. On November 2, Penguin was ruled “not guilty,” widening opportunities for publishing explicit material in the United Kingdom.
Soon after the Warren Gallery in London’s upscale Mayfair community opened the exhibition, Scotland Yard seized thirteen of the twenty-five paintings following a complaint filed by one of the approximately 13,000 viewers who came out to see them. Although prominent citizens defended the works, they were returned to Lawrence with a warning to remove them from England or risk their destruction.
Hearing of this, Mabel Luhan brought nine of them to Taos for safekeeping.
Although Lawrence is not remembered for his painting, it provided great pleasure, beginning in 1926. Apparently, Maria Huxley, wife of author Aldous Huxley (Brave New World, 1931) gave him four canvases, and Lawrence continued to paint until he died of tuberculosis in Vence, France, on March 1, 1930.
After his death, Frieda returned to Taos with her lover Angelo Ravagli, with whom she had been having an affair since the middle 1920s. They married in 1950. When Frieda died six years later, in August of 1956, her estate, including the Lawrence paintings to be displayed in Paradise Valley, passed to Ravagli.
He, in turn, sold them to Taos art lover Saki Karavas, the owner of Hotel La Fonda. A fan of D. H. Lawrence who owned several first editions of his works, Karavas had shaped the property into an arts center where people such as Ernest Blumenshein, Bert Phillips and other members of Taos Society of Artists met regularly and displayed their works. Karavas, the “Don Juan of Taos,” also knew Frieda, Mabel Dodge Luhan and other women in the arts circle.
When the Sahds acquired the hotel in 1996, the paintings passed with the property.
Art in Residential Artistry
Ten years in design and building guided by master architect Juan Sandoval, the five-bedroom, seven-bedroom Italian Villa, 8100 North 68th Street, is influenced by the Getty Villa outside Rome and combines 17th- and 18th-century Palladian styles with modern touches. Located at the Camelback Golf Club, the home features a layout based on a two-acre octagon wrapping expansive courtyardlike space.
Some of the many hand-crafted spaces and details include a grand loggia surrounding two courtyards; a 60-foot-by-60-foot hand-tiled mosaic heated salt water pool with a capacity of 150,000 gallons; Venetian-plastered walls; and book-matched marble floors. More than 300 rosebushes have been integrated into the landscaping.
“Unlike any other property on the Valley market, this home was designed as a personal resort and lives indoor/outdoor, in step with the Arizona lifestyle,” Aazami says. “All of it is built around ‘mass,’ ‘quality’ and ‘longevity.’ This timeless home will outlive multiple generations.”
Aazami and his Russ Lyon Sotheby’s team will be placing the nine paintings throughout the estate next to a story describing each piece. The ticket price for this showing is $500 a person with a group discount available.
“In this way, our guests can enjoy both the works and the exquisite architecture, craftsmanship and finishes of this outstanding home,” he says. “Like a silent auction, we’ll welcome undisclosed offers for the forbidden collection.” Any proceeds of art sales are the owner’s, not Russ Lyon Sotheby’s, Aazami notes.
Sahd has always enjoyed the paintings with their distraught actions and scenes and emotional intensity. “They seem to reveal self-portraits of Lawrence,” he says, “and we are hoping that showing them may encourage a revival of interest in one of the great writers of the 20th-century, who helped change our way of looking at human relationships.”
This superlative Paradise Valley home is offered at $18,000,000. A video is at pcgagents.com/8100N68thSt. To schedule a visit, please call or text Frank Aazami, 480.266.0240, or email, frank@pcgAgents.com.
Another PCG Sold – Dual Representation, setting records for the first quarter of 2021.
See the whole story HERE.
‘The Villa’ sells for $9.5 million in Paradise Valley
Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty has announced the February sale of a $9,500,000 estate in Paradise Valley procured by real estate agents Frank Aazami, Bill Bulaga, Thomas Scott and Jean-Michele Edery.
The sale closed on Feb. 26, according to a press release. The buyer and seller names have not been disclosed.
Mr. Aazami, Mr. Bulaga and Mr. Scott represented the seller, while Mr. Edery and Mr. Aazami represented the buyer.
The Tuscan style home, at 6721 E. Cheney Drive in Paradise Valley, is nicknamed “The Villa” and spans over three acres. Surrounding the entire property is lush and abundant foliage offering its residents full privacy.
Inside the estate totals 22,215 square-feet and is composed of 11 bedrooms, 12.5 bathrooms, three kitchens, a theatre and an indoor basketball court. Also included is a library, billiards room and a separate guest house.
Additional features of the property include a circular driveway with two large motor courts. The main courtyard is overlooked by “Romeo and Juliet” style balconies, while a second courtyard has installed original Mexican mesquite doors, crafted in the 1800s, the press release stated.
Multiple entertainment and viewing areas are also included on the property giving guests access to world-class views of the beautiful Arizona desert and surrounding mountains. There is also an resort-style pool and spa that features its very own lazy river.
The property is located in the heart of Paradise Valley and is minutes away from the new Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley resort, the press release notes.
“We feel honored to have represented this extraordinary property and put this sale together,” said Frank Aazami of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty.
“We helped both sets of clients sell for top dollar while helping the buyer successfully find their beautiful new home all at the same time. We often say this business is about relationships and this sale is a perfect example of what we do best at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty.”
As seen in the Phoenix Business Journal – read the full story HERE:
By Angela Gonzales
Senior Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal
Oct 22, 2020, 12:12pm MST
Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty is on a roll, with another record-breaking sale following the $24.1 million record-breaking sale of a home in north Scottsdale.
This time, the record-breaking sale was in Fountain Hills, with the $2.65 million sale of a 8,550-square-foot estate at 15657 N. Cerro Alto Drive. This sale just broke the record for homes located outside the gates of Fountain Hills, a small town east of Phoenix.
The listing agent, Frank Aazami, of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, broke a record held in Fountain Hills since 2006, by almost $650,000.
That’s great news for the luxury market, Aazami said.
“It just confirms we are continuing to see an upward trend right now in the luxury sector,” he said.
With five bedrooms and five bathrooms, the home features a 12-seat movie theater and wet bar, sauna, with-car garage and a 750-bottle wine cellar. Built in 2006, the backyard features multiple pools, jacuzzi, grotto waterfall streams and outdoor kitchen/barbecue.
This record-breaking deal follows these of a 15,000-square-foot home within the Silverleaf community in north Scottsdale. Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty agents Lisa Westcott and Shawna Warner sold that home for $24.1 million.
The housing market doesn’t seem to be cooling down any time soon.
May is typically when the market is hottest, but homes across the US moved six days faster this September than they did in May 2019, according to new research from Zillow Group Inc. (Nasdaq: Z)
In metro Phoenix, the typical home went under contract after 11 days in September, 48% faster than this time last year and more than two weeks faster than May 2019, according to the Zillow report.
The most expensive homes in the Phoenix market are selling in 33 days, which is 23.3% ahead of last year’s pace, according to that report.
Normally, the housing market begins to slow down this time of year as the weather cools and buyer activity fades, says Chris Glynn, senior economist for Zillow.
“But it’s 2020 and nothing is normal this year,” Glenn said. “Instead of slowing down, we’re seeing the housing market continue to speed up as autumn continues. The buying season we’re seeing this fall more closely resembles peak market activity we’d see in the spring in a typical year.”
It remains to be seen whether the traditional buying season continues to be pushed back because of Covid-19 and activity will taper off in the coming months, or whether historically low inventory and continued strong demand means homes will continue to sell quickly throughout the rest of the year, he said.
On a private 1.72-acre corner lot, the Modern Desert Contemporary custom has been optimally sited for unobstructed views of landmark Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak and is minutes from the dining, shopping, recreational and cultural assets of Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Phoenix. Sky Harbor International Airport is 20 minutes south, and there are several private and municipal airports in close proximity.
With six-bedrooms and six full and three half bathrooms, the single-level includes an independent guest wing comprising a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom and laundry.
The automotive fan will enjoy the 2,000-square-foot double-height garage, which has six spaces; with stowing lifts added, this capacity doubles. Offering ample cabinetry, storage and workspace, the garage directly accesses the main living quarters. For those with larger car collections, more bays can be added on the adjacent land.
Four years in design and construction by the owner, the Camino Sin Nombre home is just months short of completion, allowing you the opportunity to customize it to your needs.
“You will save money that you’d have to spend to build a masterpiece like this –– to capture the views, to create its unique floor plan and the organic touch of its structural components,” he adds. “You can come in now with your interior expert and finish and furnish it to your taste. This is a great opportunity for a lucky buyer.”
“This house is amazing, one of a kind. And, the new owner can complete the home to their desires, which is a special opportunity,” explains Keith R. Galbut, President of Advocate-Residential Construction Advisors, also Phoenix, who is serving as an owners representative and consultant. Other master vendors can be recommended for additional millwork, landscaping and enhancements to the prewired audio/visual, home automation and security systems.
“However this home is finished, and by what owner, it will be warm, spiritual, ethereal, artful and exciting,” Wilson says. “It is big enough and intimate enough to entertain hundreds and also serve as an inviting family home. This remarkable home can answer to all of your needs and moods.”
This flexibility informed the vision from the start. “We wanted to have a unique home that captured true modernist architectural theory and philosophy but that didn’t sacrifice warmth and livability,” says the owner, who had to change his moving plans to the Valley despite the time and money invested in the home.
“We wanted the home to provide us with open, airy and efficient living spaces that were specifically programmed for an active lifestyle and that would allow for both grand entertaining and still provide an enormous amount of intimate spaces and experiences.”
Built-in an angled “U” shape, the Camino Sin Nombre home features two mirroring corridors, one for the master bedroom and the other for the family bedrooms and guest quarters. These and the home’s central corridor make this an art-collector’s dream space, especially with custom lighting by the inimitable Walter Spitz, Creative Designs in Lighting (CDL), Scottsdale.
Between these bedroom corridors, uniting them is a focal point 25-meter zero-edge lap and reflecting pool, which repeats their geometry outdoors. Electronically controlled curtains on the floating window system along both passageways will offer privacy and shade on demand.
The inspired design and rich materials palette ensure the achievement of the home. “We wanted the architecture to be aesthetic, and we wanted the home’s structure to define that,” the owner explains.
To this end, extensive poured-in-place white concrete, using snap ties and board-form techniques, appears inside and out, celebrating the strength, character and candor of the home. Custom steel siding and metal structural materials intensify this theme. Similarly inspired interior materials to include granite, steel and glass.
“You want to touch these walls, they are so expressive and a central concept of this remarkable home,” Wilson explains. “Whenever I visit, that’s exactly what I do, and I immediately connect to the energy and inspiration.”
In the same way, polished custom white concrete floors add to the crispness of the design as well as the comfort of a desert home without carpeting.
Paradise Valley is an exclusive enclave and offers privacy and luxury.