19 Art Galas and Benefits to Get Excited About in November

There's a lot going on before the holidays begin.

Lily Kwong, Bettina Prentince, Cleo Wade, Sofia Sanchez de Betak at the Museum of Arts and Design's The Garden of Earthly Delights Gala. Courtesy of Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.
Lily Kwong, Bettina Prentince, Cleo Wade, Sofia Sanchez de Betak at the Museum of Arts and Design's The Garden of Earthly Delights Gala. Courtesy of Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.

As the year draws to a close, the art scene is busier than ever, with a packed schedule of high-end art benefit events taking place in New York throughout the first two weeks or so of November.

Tickets can cost hundreds of dollars a piece, and it’s a major party foul to be photographed in the same outfit more than once, so chose wisely when planning which events to attend on the gala circuit this month. Luckily, artnet News has you covered with this helpful guide.

November 1

Athi-Patra Ruga, The Night of the Long Knives I (2013). Courtesy of Whatiftheworld Gallery.

Athi-Patra Ruga, The Night of the Long Knives I (2013). Courtesy of Whatiftheworld Gallery.

1. Beloved Country: Performa Gala 
If anyone knows how to put on a show, it’s Performa, and this extends to the performance art biennial’s annual gala as well, a South African-themed affair for 2016. This year’s special commission, titled Over the Rainbow (for the country’s Desmond Tutu-bestowed post-Apartheid nickname, the Rainbow Nation) is from South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga, who plays the role of “Versatile Queen Ivy” in a piece combining sound, video, song, and dance.

The night will honor curator, museum director, and writer Okwui Enwezor, known for his work on Documenta 11 in 2002 and the 56th Venice Biennial in 2015, ahead of Performa 17, which will look to South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, and Morocco for inspiration. In addition, there will be a toast to gallerist Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn of New York’s Salon 94 and a special homage to South African artist William Kentridge.

Ahead of next week’s election, Eric Gottesman and Hank Willis Thomas’s For Freedomsthe super PAC for artists, will also make a special appearance.

The Altman Building, 135 West 18th Street, 7:00 p.m. Tickets start at $1,500. 

Lily Kwong, Bettina Prentince, Cleo Wade, Sofia Sanchez de Betak at the Museum of Arts and Design's The Garden of Earthly Delights Gala. Courtesy of Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.

Lily Kwong, Bettina Prentince, Cleo Wade, Sofia Sanchez de Betak at the Museum of Arts and Design’s The Garden of Earthly Delights Gala. Courtesy of Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.

2. MAD Ball 2016
The Museum of Design will honor the late architect Zaha Hadid, fashion house Missoni, artist Yinka Shonibare, and arts patron Charles S. Cohen at its annual ball. The celebration also marks the museum’s diamond 60th anniversary jubilee, and welcomes the institution’s new director, Jorge Daniel Veneciano. Writer and fashion personality Simon Doonan serves as emcee for the night, which will feature cocktails, a silent auction, dinner, live entertainment, and an awards presentation.

Pier Sixty: Chelsea Piers, 23rd Street and West Side Highway, 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $750/after party $125. 

Director and screenwriter Laurie Simmons attends a photocall for My Art during the 73rd Venice Film Festival at on September 6, 2016 in Venice, Italy. Courtesy of Andreas Rentz/Getty Images.

Director and screenwriter Laurie Simmons attends a photocall for My Art during the 73rd Venice Film Festival at on September 6, 2016 in Venice, Italy. Courtesy of Andreas Rentz/Getty Images.

3. ICP Spotlights
Photographer and filmmaker Laurie Simmons will take center stage at the International Center of Photography, when she is honored at the institution’s annual Spotlights luncheon. Known for her work exploring the role of women in society, Simmons will take part in a conversation with actress Molly Ringwald during the event.

583 Park Avenue, 11:30 a.m. Tickets are sold out. 

Wednesday, November 2

Nao Nishihara and Aki Onda. Courtesy of Issue Project Room.

Nao Nishihara and Aki Onda. Courtesy of Issue Project Room.

4. Japan Society’s 2016 Gallery Benefit Auction
Enjoy an after hours look at the Japan Society’s current exhibition, “Simon Starling: At Twilight,” during the institution’s fourth annual benefit auction. Guests will enjoy a performance by Nao Nishihara, and have the chance to bid on 43 artworks by artists including Hiroshi Sugimoto, Daidō Moriyama, Izumi Kato, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, and Simon Starling in a live auction run by a Christie’s auctioneer.

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street at First Avenue, 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $125/$100 for Japan Society members.

Isa Genzken poses during a first view of her exhibition "Isa Genzken - Make Yourself Pretty!" at the Martin-Gropius-Bau museum in Berlin on April 7, 2016. Courtesy of AFP/dpa/Jens Kalaene/Germany.

Isa Genzken poses during a first view of her exhibition “Isa Genzken – Make Yourself Pretty!” at the Martin-Gropius-Bau museum in Berlin on April 7, 2016. Courtesy of AFP/dpa/Jens Kalaene/Germany.

5. SculptureCenter Benefit Gala
Queens’s SculptureCenter will recognize sculptor Isa Genzken for her contributions to contemporary art at its annual gala, and it will featuring remarks on the artist from art historian Benjamin H.D. Buchloh.

Timed to the event, New York’s Galerie Buchholz is opening “Isa Genzken: Portraits,” of collages made by Genzken using photographs taken of her by Wolfgang Tillmans, Gerhard Richter, and other artists. This body of work has never been shown in New York, and a portion of sales will go to the Sculpture Center.

The Rainbow Room, International Council-Shopping Center, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 7:00 p.m. Tickets start at $1,250.

Rob Pruitt, <em>Heart Painting</em>. Courtesy of RxArt.

Rob Pruitt, Heart Painting. Courtesy of RxArt.

6. RxArt Party
At RxArt‘s annual party, Rob Pruitt will receive the RxArt Inspiration award from J. Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons (the invitation warns “when you see him don’t make a big deal out of it”). The artist is also handling the party decor. Christie’s senior vice president and head of post-war and contemporary art Sara Friedlander will lead the night’s live art auction, featuring work by Lucy Dodd, John Baldessari, Walter Robinson, Zoë Buckman, and others.

Stephan Weiss Studio, 711 Greenwich Street, 6:00. Tickets start at $500.

Thursday, November 3

Ragnar Kjartansson, God, 2007. Photo Rafael Pinho, courtesy the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and i8 Gallery, Reykjavík.

Ragnar Kjartansson, God (2007). Courtesy of photographer Rafael Pinho/the artist/Luhring Augustine, New York and i8 Gallery, Reykjavík.

7. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Gala
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is heading back to New York for its 2016 gala, and it’s bringing Ragnar Kjartansson, whose first museum survey opened at the museum on October 14, along for the ride. The evening will be headlined by the world premiere of a new mariachi band-based performance by from the Icelandic artist.

For the second straight year, the gala will honor 40 international artists. This time around, most of them have never worked with the museum before, offering a possible window into the institution’s future programming.

One World Trade Center, 285 Fulton Street, 6:30 p.m.

Artworks for sale at the 2015 ARTWALK NY Benefit. Courtesy of ARTWALK NY.

Artworks for sale at the 2015 ARTWALK NY Benefit. Courtesy of ARTWALK NY.

8. 22nd Annual ARTWALK NY Benefiting Coalition for the Homeless
Celebrating the “artist-as-activist” as part of its efforts to increase awareness of homelessness, poverty, and social injustice, the Coalition for the Homeless will honor Kenny Scharf and philanthropist Mike De Paola at its annual benefit and charity art auction. Actors and husband and wife Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany are co-hosting.

Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W 18th Street, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, November 4

LaToya Ruby Frazier.Photo courtesy John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

LaToya Ruby Frazier. Courtesy John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

9. New Museum’s 2016 “Next Generation” Dinner
The New Museum heads to China Town for its annual “Next Generation” dinner, held this year at Chinese Tuxedo, a forthcoming restaurant housed in what was once New York’s first Chinese language opera house and theater.

LaToya Ruby Frazier will be honored, while Kerstin Bratsch will debut a new series of work that benefits the New Museum. Sarah Arison, Fabiola Beracasa, Jen Brill, and Massimiliano Gioni host, and Yves Salomon presents.

Chinese Tuxedo, 5-7 Doyers Street, 8:00. Tickets start at $1,000, but are invitation only.

Sunday, November 6

Dia benefit. Courtesy of Nicki Sebastian.

Dia benefit. Courtesy of Nicki Sebastian.

10. Dia Fall Night
The 2016 Dia fall gala honors Robert Morris, with a special tribute from Wade Guyton. The event kicks off with an early look at the Dia:Chelsea’s fall exhibitions: the first solo US museum exhibition for Japanese Mono-ha artist Kishio Suga, and Hanne Darboven’s “Kulturgeschichte 1880-1983 (Cultural History 1880–1983),” a part of the Dia collection that is being shown in the US for the first time in a decade.

540 West 21st Street, 6:00. Tickets start at $1,500.

Wednesday, November 9 

The Met Apollo Circle Benefit. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Met Apollo Circle Benefit. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

11. The Met Apollo Circle Young Friends of the Met Benefit
Nearly 1,000 young supporters of the Metropolitan Museum of Art will don black tie garb, dancing to music by Grandmaster Flash at the iconic Temple of Dendur at the Apollo Circle benefit. Egyptian-inspired work by painter Katherine Bernhardt will be projected throughout the room.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue 9:00 p.m.–12:00 a.m. Tickets start at $275 for Apollo Circle members.

Thursday, November 10

FADE IN: INT. ART GALLERY – DAY, installation view.Photo: Courtesy of Swiss Institute.

FADE IN: INT. ART GALLERY – DAY, installation view.
Photo: Courtesy of Swiss Institute.

12. Swiss Institute Annual Benefit Dinner & Auction
The Swiss Institute will celebrate its 30th anniversary with artist tributes to Olivier Mosset and Jordan Wolfson. Former institution board chair Fabienne Abrecht, who held the post from 2002 to 2015, will be honored with the special 30th anniversary award, and legendary auctioneer Simon de Pury will run the night’s live art auction.

Williamsburgh Savings Bank, 175 Broadway, Brooklyn, 6:00 p.m. Tickets start at $500. 

Monday, November 14

David Byrne. © 2015 Marcia Resnick from <em>Punks, Poets & Provocateurs: New York City Bad Boys 1977–1982</em> by Marcia Resnick and Victor Bockris, published by Insight Editions. Used with permission.

David Byrne. © 2015 Marcia Resnick from Punks, Poets & Provocateurs: New York City Bad Boys 1977–1982 by Marcia Resnick and Victor Bockris, published by Insight Editions. Used with permission.

13. Ballroom Marfa’s New York Gala
For its 2016 New York gala, Ballroom Marfa will inaugurate its first annual Off the Grid Award, honoring Talking Heads front man and noted art lover David Byrne and television producer Jill Soloway, whose forthcoming Amazon series, I Love Dick (based on the Chris Krause novel), is set in Marfa. 

The evening’s festivities will include a performance by Byrne, and live music by San Antonio’s Las Altenas, an all-female mariachi band. An auction component will feature work by Larry Bell, Sam Falls, Rashid Johnson, Paul McCarthy, Ed Ruscha, and others.

547 West 26th Street, 6:30 p.m. Invitation only. 

Tuesday, November 15

A party at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Courtesy of Matthew Carasella.

A party at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Courtesy of Matthew Carasella.

14. Whitney 2016 Art Party
It will be a late night at the Whitney Museum of American Art, with DJ sets from Mia Moretti and Lion Babe continuing into the early hours of the morning. It’s not all dancing, however: take advantage of the chance to check out the museum’s new exhibitions after hours, including “Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art 1905–2016.”

Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, 9:00 p.m.–12:30 a.m. Tickets start at $225 for Whitney Contemporaries members.

Tom Hanks. Courtesy of Craig Kief.

Tom Hanks. Courtesy of Craig Kief.

15. MoMA’s Ninth Annual Film Benefit
The Museum of Modern Art pays tribute to Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks at its annual film benefit. Expect a celebrity-studded affair: last year’s edition singled out Cate Blanchett, and saw Jane Krakowski, Diane Kruger, and Rooney Mara in attendance, among other Hollywood stars.

Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $5,000.

Wednesday, November 16

Julie Ault. Courtesy of the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture.

Julie Ault. Courtesy of the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture.

16. Triple Canopy’s Fall Benefit
Julie Ault will be honored by digital art magazine Triple Canopy at Jing Fong, a popular Chinese banquet hall and dim sum palace. The night will include remarks by curator and writer Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy and poet and critic Cathy Park Hong. Guests will each get copies of special artist editions of new works created by Sadie Benning and Danh Vō for the occasion (while supplies last).

Jing Fong, 20 Elizabeth Street, 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Tickets start at $250. 

Angela Conner with <em>Threshold</em> mobile water sculpture (courtesy the artist); Shirley Hill (© Bill Cramer/Wonderful Machine); William T. Georgis (Courtesy Whitney Cox).

Angela Conner with Threshold mobile water sculpture (courtesy the artist); Shirley Hill (© Bill Cramer/Wonderful Machine); William T. Georgis (Courtesy Whitney Cox).

17. Pratt Institute’s Legends Benefit
Architect William T. Georgis, sculptor Angela Conner, and InterArch founder Shirley Hill are being recognized by New York city college the Pratt Institute at its annual scholarship benefit.

For the first time, the event will include a live auction, run by Andrea Fiuczynski, executive vice president, chairman, Americas, at Sotheby’s. A William Wegman photograph, a portrait of Patti Smith by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, and an item from fashion icon Iris Apfel’s personal collection are up for sale.

Mandarin Oriental New York, 60 Columbus Circle, 6:00. Tickets start at $750.

Thursday, November 17

Guggenheim International Gala. Courtesy of the Guggenheim.

Guggenheim International Gala. Courtesy of the Guggenheim.

18. 2016 Guggenheim International Gala
The Solomon R. Guggenheim is holding a black-tie dinner affair in its iconic rotunda, currently home to the acclaimed Agnes Martin exhibition. Experimental composer John Zorn will debut a new work, “Praise,” inspired by Martin’s work. The late painter will be honored in memoriam along with artists Tauba Auerbach, Tacita Dean, Leslie Hewitt, Sarah Morris, Laurie Simmons, and Taryn Simon.

For a less fancy affair, considering stopping by the night before, for the GIG Pre-Party, hosted by the museum’s Young Collectors Council. Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem and the Juan Maclean is DJing, there’s a performance by singer-songwriter BANKS. It costs only $250 ($225 for YCC members).

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 5th Avenue, 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.

Participants during Suzanne Lacy's <em>De tu Puño y Letra</em> (November 25, 2015) a project for a Blade of Grass's "Fieldwork" series, season two. Courtesy of Christoph Hirtz.

Participants during Suzanne Lacy’s De tu Puño y Letra (November 25, 2015) a project for a Blade of Grass’s “Fieldwork” series, season two. Courtesy of Christoph Hirtz.

19. A Blade of Grass Night of Alchemy Annual Benefit
Socially engaged art and its power to transform our world is the main event at a Blade of Grass‘s annual benefit event. The evening will feature the debut of the second season of the documentary series “Fieldworks,” showcasing projects by the likes of Mary Mattingly, Dread Scott, and Suzanne Lacy. Proceeds benefit the ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art.

The Flatiron Room, 37 West 26th Street, 6:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Tickets start at $200.

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