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MASS MoCA Benefit in NYCAuction Items


MASS MoCA toasts a future of art partnerships at its annual fall benefit on Tuesday, October 25, at Tribeca Rooftop in New York City. Artists Nick Cave & Bob Faust, Sarah Crowner, and Alex Da Corte co-chair this year’s gala, along with Christine and Andy Hall.

The October 25 live auction will be conducted by Eric Widing, Deputy Chairman, Christie’s Americas. To place an absentee bid, fill out this form, and email it to Rebecca Wehry at rwehry@massmoca.org by 10am on October 25.


Lot No. 1 — Fred Tomaselli

Aug. 29, 2013, 2014
Screen print over digital print on paper, 14 × 15 inches
Edition 7/20 APs

Includes Brooklyn studio tour with the artist for up to 20 guests

Tomaselli is known for drawing upon art historical sources and Eastern and Western decorative traditions to create works that explode with mesmerizing patterns through the layering of resin, pharmaceuticals, and organic materials. More recently, Tomaselli has been transforming the front page of The New York Times with gouache and collage. “Every morning, I get The Times and see what’s on the front page,” he says. “I used to scrutinize it for the news. Now, I scrutinize it for the news and for what it might deliver to me as an artist.”

Born in Southern California, Tomaselli lives and works in New York, where he has built a reputation for his vibrant and intricate painting technique. He has had numerous solo exhibitions including a survey exhibition at Aspen Art Museum that toured to the Tang and Brooklyn Museums; Albright-Knox Gallery of Art; Site Santa Fe; and Whitney Museum of American Art. His works have been included in international biennial exhibitions including Sydney; Prospect 1, Site Santa Fe; the Whitney, and others. Tomaselli’s work can be found in the public collections of institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art; Brooklyn Museum; Albright Knox Gallery; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. His work is currently on view at MASS MoCA in Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder, on view through March 19, 2017.

Note: the tour of Tomaselli’s Brooklyn studio should be arranged before February, when his work leaves for a show in London.

Estimated Value: $1,500

lisa_oppenheimLot No. 2 — Lisa Oppenheim 

Guaranteed Dutch Wax Vlisco QY2010602, 2016
C-print made from fabric negative, 38 × 28 inches
Edition 1AP of 1 + 1AP

Through her experiments with analog darkroom and digital processes, Lisa Oppenheim gives photographic images new forms and new contexts, inviting us to question and to wonder. Over the past decade, in a practice that is characterized by a mix of curiosity, research, and rigor, she has steadily developed a unique oeuvre exploring the use and transformation of pre-existing images, creating photographs and videos that connect historical imagery and techniques with the present. Looking to models from Henry Fox-Talbot to Flickr, Oppenheim also employs unusual materials as photographic negatives — such as fabric (including the work for auction), lace, slices of wood — directly recording the objects’ specific textures and patterns to create sumptuous near-abstract compositions that span the conceptual and the formal. Oppenheim has been included in numerous significant exhibitions examining the reinvention — and reimagining — of photography.

In Art & Auction, Sarah P. Hanson called Oppenheim a magician, noting that: “In its early days the photographic process might have been mistaken by the layman as a kind of magic. New York-based Oppenheim might be thought of as a conjurer for the way she uses her subjects — the sun, the moon, fire — to summon her images into being. But Oppenheim… never fails to add a 21st-century twist or two.”

Oppenheim was part of The Dying of the Light: Film as Medium and Metaphor, a group show at MASS MoCA in 2014. In 2013 her work was featured in MoMA’s distinguished New Photography exhibition series as well as The International Center for Photography Triennial. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; among others. In 2014, Lisa was the recipient of both the AIMIA|AGO Photography Prize from the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography from the Israel Museum.

Estimated Value: $13,000

Jason Middlebrook
Lot No. 3 — Jason Middlebrook

Glow, 2015
22 × 13 inches
Acrylic and silkscreen on maple

MASS MoCA audiences delighted in the artist’s stunning painted hardwood planks in Jason Middlebrook: My Landscape, in 2014. For nearly two decades, the mixed-media artist has explored the complex relationship between man and nature — from the taming of the suburban yard to the building of the Alaskan Pipeline — in his sculptures, installations, paintings, and large-scale drawings. He began working with the planks — maple, cherry, myrtle, birch, and others — in 2008 after relocating from New York City to Hudson, New York. A meditation on sculptural form and abstract painting, the hybrid paintings work both with and against the grain of their organically shaped wooden supports. With his intricate, dynamic designs, the artist points to abstraction’s roots in the natural world while emphasizing a desire to control and even oppose natural form with his use of hard-edged lines and glossy, industrial color (which make a nod to the artist’s California surfing days and the glossy works of West Coast artists like John McCracken).

It’s no surprise, says The Boston Globe, that he has a thriving international career: “his work is beautiful… human-scale, beautifully finessed, three-dimensional objects that sit on the floor or confidently ride the wall.” With work in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and MCA, Chicago; Middlebrook has exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; the New Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, among many others. His MTA commission, Brooklyn Seeds, was named one of the Best Public Artworks in the United States.

Estimated value: $12,000

oakes-field-museumLot No. 4 — Ryan and Trevor Oakes

Have No Narrow Perspectives: Field Museum, 2011
Pigment inkjet, cotton paper, linen tape, museum board, ink
Edition 4/5, hand-fabricated multiple
40 × 42 × 20 inches

Wrote The New York Times about identical twins and collaborators Ryan and Trevor Oakes: “The brothers, who have been engaged in a deep colloquy on the nature of bifocal vision since toddlerhood, have recently developed one of the most intriguing breakthroughs in the depiction of physical reality since the Renaissance: They have come up with a method for tracing camera-obscura-exact renderings of the world before them onto a concave grid with no other optical equipment (no lenses, no pinholes) except their own unaided eyes.”

Intrigued by double vision, they taught their eyes to resist acting in concert, and built a custom easel grid, which instead of holding one sheet of paper accommodates horizontal strips of paper.  When the drawing is complete, in fantastic detail as you see in this work of the Field Museum in Chicago, the strips are taped to create a convex cup shape that mimics the contour of the human eye. Looking at their unique work, you will journey with them as they explore the logic of art, the beauty of mathematics, and the spaces where these two arenas of knowledge become inextricably intertwined. The process is as physically grueling as it sounds, with one drawing taking up to several months, as they navigate a new relationship between sight, space, and the mysteries of perception.

The Oakes brothers, who live and work in New York, have had solo exhibitions at the National Museum of Mathematics, New York; The Field Museum, Chicago; and Spertus Museum, Chicago. Their works are in the collections of the Getty Research Institute; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Field Museum, Chicago; and the Institute for Figuring in Los Angeles, among others. In October, you can find them daily at the New York Public Library drawing the Rose Room, and their work is on view at MASS MoCA in Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder, on view through March 19, 2017.

Please note: This work is being exhibited currently at MASS MoCA and will be available for transport after March 19, 2017.

Estimated value: $8,500

david-salleLot No. 5 — David Salle

Untitled, 2016
Flashe paint on paper, mounted on linen
13 7/8 × 10 5/8 × 1 inches

Working and living in Brooklyn and the East End of Long Island, David Salle is an American painter, printmaker, and stage designer who has been making waves since first coming on the art scene 35 years ago. He has helped define the post-modern sensibility by combining figuration with an extremely varied pictorial language. Basing his visual vocabulary on models from art history, advertisements, design, and every-day culture, as well as, most significantly, his own photography, Salle creates an assemblage with numerous cultural references. Often erotically charged, Salle’s work frequently features a figure and an interior, or a portrait and a landscape, enigmatically layered atop one another. Although known primarily as a painter, Salle’s work grows out of a long involvement with performance. Over the last 25 years he has worked extensively with choreographer Karole Armitage, creating sets and costumes for many of her ballets and operas, which have been staged at venues throughout Europe and America, including The Metropolitan Opera House, The Paris Opera, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Opera Deutsche, Berlin.

Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at museums and galleries worldwide, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MoMA Vienna; Menil Collection, Houston; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Castello di Rivoli; and the Guggenheim, Bilbao. His paintings are in the collections of many major museums, both in the United States and abroad.

Estimated Value: $20,000

hollanderLot No. 6 — Tanja Hollander

New commission
Archival pigment print
30 × 30 inch on 36 × 36 inch paper
Edition 1/10

In 2011, photographer Tanja Alexia Hollander set out to differentiate the actual from the virtual by photographing all 626 of her Facebook friends. Since then, she has traveled the globe, setting up meetings in her friends’ homes to discover the ways in which friendship is defined, and how permission is granted into one’s private — yet very public — online life. What began as a personal documentary on friendship and environmental portraiture has turned into an exploration of contemporary culture, relationships, family structure, community-building, storytelling, class, the relationship between technology and travel, social networking, memory, and the history of the portrait.

Hollander’s exhibition of her journey, Are you really my friend? will premiere at MASS MoCA in March 2017, and she is donating a portrait sitting of your choosing — of you, your family, and/or a beloved landscape — which will be included as part of her internationally-recognized project. Portions of Are you really my friend? have been exhibited at the Portland Museum of Art, Maine, and Virei Viral, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Receiving international media attention for this project, Hollander has given a TEDxDirigo talk on the subject and lectured extensively at the University of Maryland, Clemson University, SXSW, and Facebook headquarters.

The winner of this lot receives a complimentary sitting, an edition print, a digital file for personal use, four 5 × 7 inch prints, and an invitation to the MASS MoCA opening March 4, 2017. In addition, the winner of this lot will be listed as a sponsor of Tanja Hollander’s exhibition.

Note: the sitting should take place by January 1, 2017 to be included in the exhibition. There is an additional cost if the portrait is taken outside metropolitan New York or Maine.

Estimated value $7,500
Net proceeds of this sale directly support Hollander’s exhibition, which opens at MASS MoCA in March 2017 — your dollars working directly to fuel artists’ ideas.

tom_friedmanLot No. 7 — Tom Friedman

Mother and Child, 2016
Inkjet print, 36 × 34 ½ inches
Edition 2/7

Tom Friedman makes extraordinary work that explores ideas of perception, logic, and possibility. His often painstakingly rendered sculptures and works on paper inhabit the grey areas between the ordinary and the monstrous, the infinitesimal and the infinite, the rational and the uncanny. His work is often deceptive, its handmade intricacy masked by a seemingly mass-produced or prefabricated appearance. Friedman’s deadpan presentation implies content and form are seamless; expectations are overturned as the viewer slowly perceives that chasm between illusion and reality.

“The artist Tom Friedman tends to blow our minds and then move on, rarely repeating himself,” said The New York Times. His work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums, including solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Fondazione Prada, Milan; Magasin 3, Stockholm Konsthall; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the South London Gallery, and numerous other institutions. Recent solo exhibitions include: Gravity, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England (2014); Paint and Styrofoam, Luhring Augustine, New York (2014); Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England (2012); Up in the Air, Magasin 3, Stockholm Konsthalle, Stockholm; touring to FRAC Montpellier, France (2010); REAM, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis (2009); Pure Invention, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis (2006); Tom Friedman, South London Gallery, London, England (2004); Stitching, Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2002). His work is currently on view at MASS MoCA in Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder, through March 19, 2017.

Estimated value: $8,500

gregory_crewdson_the_backyard_2013Lot No. 8 — Gregory Crewdson

Cathedral of the Pines Box Set and Special Edition Print
Published by Aperture
1st edition, clothbound, hard cover
15 1/2 × 18 inches
76 pages, 31 four-color images

The Backyard, 2013
Digital pigment print
Image Size: 13 1/2 × 18
Paper Size: 15 3/4 × 19 5/8
AP 2/5 from an edition of 20 and 5 Artist’s proofs
Signed and numbered by the artist 

This lot also includes a private dinner for four with the artist at his home — a former church — in the Berkshires

This special limited-edition artwork consists of a clothbound copy of Gregory Crewdson’s monograph Cathedral of the Pines, and a special-edition photograph, The Backyard, 2013.  Both are encased in a specially designed clamshell box Cathedral of the Pines presents Gregory Crewdson’s first new body of work in over five years, and marks a return to Crewdson’s classic style of storytelling via the single image, using light and color to create newly intimate, psychologically charged imagery. This body of work marks a time of transition for the artist, and a retreat from New York to a remote home and studio in western Massachusetts — a period of time during which Crewdson chose to remain socially withdrawn, instead committing to daily, long-distance, open-water swims and cross-country skiing on wooded paths. Cathedral of the Pines is named after one of these trails where he found the inspiration to make these pictures. It was there that he experienced a reconnection with his storytelling craft, and moved into a period of intense creative productivity.

Crewdson, who lives and works in the Berkshires, is Director of Graduate Studies in Photography at the Yale School of Art. His series Beneath the Roses, which took nearly ten years and a crew of over one hundred people to complete (and which was produced partially on a stage set at MASS MoCA as well as other locations in and around the Berkshires), is the subject of the 2012 documentary Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States and Europe, including a survey that toured throughout Europe from 2001 to 2008.  Crewdson’s awards include the Skowhegan Medal for Photography, the National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship, and the Aaron Siskind Fellowship.

Estimated value: priceless

Please note that this box set (limited to 20 numbered copies), originally valued at $10,000, is sold out.

nick_caveLot No. 9 — Nick Cave

Up Right, 2015
A film by The Right Brothers
Running time 20:16
Includes certificate of authenticity
Edition 4 of 25 with 2 artist proofs

An artist working in sculpture, installation, video, and sound, Nick Cave perhaps best known for his Soundsuits, sculptural forms that camouflage the body in colorful costumes, creating a second skin that conceals race, gender, and class. There is an increasing urgency to Cave’s work, signaling his belief that it is time to remove the mask his Soundsuits once provided, to confront profiling, violence, and racism head on. This belief led to Cave’s most complex work to date: Until (on view at MASS MoCA through September 2017). When faced with MASS MoCA’s football-field-sized Building 5, Cave’s first instinct was to create an immersive installation that would engulf viewers as if they had entered the interior of a Soundsuit — right into the belly of the beast. But creating an immersive installation was not enough. Cave feels civic responsibility, often referring to himself as a change agent or messenger. This is prevalent in his community-based works in Detroit, Michigan, and Shreveport, Louisiana, where he produced community performances (part art, part talent shows), with Cave the artist-cum-bandleader, urging communities to explore art as an agent of change. While in Detroit, Cave created Up Right (2015), a rich meditative film that observes Cave inviting at-risk youths from local community centers to trust him and undergo a metamorphosis of sorts as they are costumed in his Soundsuits. With its church gospel choir, the film is a stirring performance of dance, cultural symbolism, and storytelling.

Like Cave’s exhibit Until, the film is a beautifully rendered vehicle for discussion and a way people can talk plainly about the difficult times in which we find ourselves. “Cave asks us to dream with him,” wrote curator Denise Markonish, “but he also reminds us to act in the real world.”

Cave’s work can be found in many public collections including the Brooklyn Museum; Crystal Bridges, Bentonville; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Smithsonian Institution; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. Cave, who lives and works in Chicago, is professor and Chairman of the Fashion Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Estimated value: $10,000

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