September 6th, 2010

Benefit Art Auctions

Many smaller museums in Europe and America raise funds for their programming in part by auctioning works donated by galleries and artists. Nearly all of them allow absentee bidding from outside collectors, but despite this excellent pieces sometimes go for well under their retail value or aren’t sold at all. Presumably there are many collectors interested in many of these pieces, but it’s time consuming and difficult to keep track of when these auctions are happening and what’s worth considering.

We’re interested in developing a project to track the best of these benefit auctions and present selections from the available works. The purpose of this project would be both to support the institutions in their fundraising efforts and to provide collectors access to opportunities that too-often fly under the radar.

In addition to soliciting feedback (please e-mail us or leave a comment if this is something that interests you), we want to try a pilot program: selections from The Renaissance Society‘s upcoming auction. Our pursuit of the project in the future will depend in part on the response to this publicity, so if you find out about the auction here and decide to bid, let us know. The Renaissance Society, an excellent museum for contemporary art in Chicago, are friends of Contemporary Art Daily and manage every year to pull together some astonishingly good artworks from many of the galleries and artists we’ve covered. Their 2010 auction, which takes place on Saturday, September 11, is no exception. You can place advance bids on the museum’s website until Thursday, September 9, and you don’t have to be present to bid. An agent will bid on your behalf up to your maximum bid, but you may win the item for much lower if no one bids against you.

A few highlights from artists we’ve featured include an exemplary painting by Uwe Henneken (pictured above), a watercolor by Raoul de Keyser, a seminal projector work by Michael Reidel, a sculpture by Monika Sosnowska, a pair of beautiful Chinese plates appropriated by Danh Vo, a suite of “Performance Posters” by Falke Pisano and strong works by Alex Hubbard, Amy Granat, Hans Joerg Mayer, Morgan Fischer and many other artists.

The full list is here.

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