OPRAH & AGNES GUND LEAD THE BY WOMEN, FOR TOMORROWS WOMEN AUCTION
by DAISY WILLIAMS
COURTESY of SOTHEBY'S
“Once you’ve had art in your life, you will never be the same” –Agnes Gund.
The words of the Miss Porter's alumna and art enthusiast make it clear why she was asked to co-curate the Sotheby's auction, BY WOMEN, FOR TOMORROWS WOMEN, in conjunction with Oprah Winfrey. The two are the honorary co-chairs. The sale was held on Friday, March 1st at 9:30am raising $3.9 million dollars in total. This number is sure to hit the $4 million mark with an on-line auction running until March 7th. Organized in association with Miss Porter’s School for Girls in Connecticut, the proceeds go towards supporting financial aid for underprivileged students.
Featured artworks range from industry legends to unknown treasures, including Cindy Sherman, Pat Steir, Lorna Simpson, Leslie Hewitt, Carrie Mae Weems, Ellen Gallagher, Carmen Herrera, Mariko Mori, Roni Horn, April Gornik and Louise Lawler.
The biggest sale went to Carmen Herrera's BLANCO Y VERDE for $2.9 million. The 103 year old, who sold her first painting at 89, embodies the spirit of art and strength of women as she still creates from her wheelchair.
Both philanthropists have a long history with Miss Porter’s; Agnes graduating from the school in 1956 and Oprah sending her niece there in the 1990s. Oprah also notes Miss Porter's served as an inspiration when establishing her own school in South Africa.
Lorna Smith (1960), Black Gem (Details), 2016-2017. Collage of paper 3 parts. Each 11 x 18.5 inches. Image supplied by Sotheby’s.
“I love this idea of art that is representative of diversity and inclusion of all people.”
Leslie Hewitt (B. 1971), Riffs On Real Time, 2016. Digital chromogenic print. 30 x 30 inches. Edition 2/3 + AP. Image supplied by Sotheby’s.
In addition to raising funds, the auction also hopes to further emphasize the importance of female artist both historically and in the forefront of Contemporary Art, a cause close to the co-chair's hearts.
“I love this idea of art that is representative of diversity and inclusion of all people,” Oprah says.
AS IF’s own art editor, Kim Heirston, helped curate artworks for the event, focusing particularly on women of color and their contributions. The auction catalogue ranges from pioneers of art to under appreciated artists
The auction took place on March 1 at Sotheby’s and will run online until March 7th. The catalogue is available to view here.
Kim Heirston is private art advisor and founder of Kim Heirston Art Advisory LLC. To know more about her work visit www.kimheiston.com or follow her at @kimheriston on Instagram.
Carrie Mae Weems (B.1953), Untitled, 1990-2018. Archival pigment print. 50x50 inches. Image supplied by Sotheby’s.
Ellen Gallagher (B.1965), Twenty-Twenty, 1997. Ink transfer and watercolor on misu paper. 43 x 29.5 inches. Image supplied by Sotheby’s.