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During its 2016 Recognition Dinner of its 50th anniversary celebration last week, Anderson Ranch Arts Center honored multidisciplinary artist Carrie Mae Weems with the National Artist Award, and collectors and advocates Eleanore and Domenico De Sole with the Service to the Arts Award.
The award recognized the couple’s work as arts advocates, supporting both artists and art institutions. Eleanore De Sole has served on the board of a number of arts institutions, including the Aspen Art Museum and the Savannah College of Art and Design, while Domenico De Sole is currently chairman of both Sotheby’s and Tom Ford International (since the company was founded in 2005), and former CEO of Gucci Group (1994-2004).
The prize trails the Knoedler forgery trial’s favorable denouement, in which the couple (along with numerous other victims) had been duped into spending tens of millions of dollars on alleged Abstract Expressionist masterpieces that turned out to be copies. Their case was the sole onr to make it to trial but several more are pending. In any case, the trial continues to raise important questions on how the often opaque art business operates
Caree Mae Weems was surprised and honored to receive the National Artist Award, although it constituted her second art prize this year (she received one of the 2016 CAA awards for distinction). Hosted at the height of Aspen’s summer season, the event brought together over 200 art world luminaries and supporters to enjoy a festive evening of celebration and fundraising, through cocktails, dinner, dancing, and a live auction. All proceeds from the evening will benefit Anderson Ranch’s extensive education programming.
The live auction featured select contemporary artworks by renowned artists, including photographs by Catherine Opie, Alex Prager, and Weems; sculptural works by Carol Bove, Leonardo Drew, Ken Price, and Kishio Suga; works on paper by Antony Gormley and Richard Tuttle; a work on mylar by Diana Al-Hadid; a large-scale print by Mel Bochner; a painting by Stefan Brüggemann; a mixed media work by Jim Hodges; a custom Postal Shelf Proposal by Peter Liversidge; and Tom Sach’s Shrine.