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Last week in Colorado, Aspen Art Week came to a close with the highly-anticipated ArtCrush gala, honoring the artist Nairy Baghramian and raising more than $3.8M in funds for the Aspen Art Museum and its public programming. Returning to the Buttermilk ski area for its 18th iteration, the smashing affair was presented by Sotheby’s and Prada and encompassed an online auction, a live auction, and an evening of food and festivities at the hands of gala co-chairs Jamie Tisch and Sara Zilkha and Collector Committee co-chairs, Abigail Ross Goodman and Molly Epstein.
“I am thrilled by the reception to this year’s ArtWeek and I am incredibly thankful to everyone who contributed to this phenomenal result from the ArtCrush auction, which plays such an important role in helping us realize an ever-increasingly ambitious vision for the museum,” said Nicola Lees, Nancy and Bob Magoon Director of Aspen Art Museum. “It is also immensely gratifying to see so many people convene in Aspen from all over the world, especially artists who have been significantly represented at ArtWeek this year. This has been a week of energized exchange and celebration for local, national, and international audiences—a taste of the work we do year-round and a program that we are happily growing year on year.”
Marking the end of another successful art week, this year’s ArtCrush gala saw a total of 500 guests convening at the base of Buttermilk Mountain, where an extravagant space was conceived for the occasion. Outside, guests from the art world and beyond—like Nancy Magoon, Sophie Cohen, Christine Heller, Alex Israel, Tata Harper, Beverly Price, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Todd Gray, John and Amy Phelan, and Sarah Arison—were greeted by giant glittering disco mushroom caps, making the perfect photo op on the way into the tent. Inside, an elevated yet dance-party-ready atmosphere awaited, a hanging installation of florals, disco balls, and floating silver orbs looking down on lush tablescapes, a stage, and a dance floor, which were all bathed in colorful light.
Once partygoers were settled in the tent, the museum’s director Lees took the stage, awarding artist Baghramian with the 2023 Aspen Award for Art, which came in turn with her exhibition at the Aspen Art Museum, “Jupon de Corps.” Following a live auction, where attendees could be seen bidding on donated works by Baghramian, Charles Gaines, Chase Hall, the Haas Brothers, Peter Halley, Spencer Lewis, Liza Lou, Howardena Pindell, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, and Carmen Herrera, dinner and dancing ensued, with festivities carrying on late into the night. Meanwhile, the online auction continued through the next day, where an additional 60 donated works (by the likes of Lily Stockman, Cauleen Smith, Korakrit Arunanondchai, and Roberto Lugo) contributed to the fundraising efforts, netting a record-breaking $1.8M.