Sotheby’s Auction to Benefit Elton John AIDS Foundation
As collectors brace themselves for the sure-to-be astronomical sales figures at next week’s New York auctions, it’s nice to be reminded that not everything is about making a profit. To wit, leading contemporary artists have generously donated no less than 11 artworks, all of which will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF).
The Contemporary Art Day Sale on November 12 will mark the fourth time that the auction house has partnered with the EJAF. The participating artists are Allora & Calzadilla, Martin Creed, Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Elrod, Urs Fischer, Jonathan Horowitz, William Kentridge, Joel Meyerowitz, Rob Pruitt, Ed Ruscha, and Frank Thiel. Their pieces are currently featured in a public exhibition preceding the auction.
“Thanks to the generosity of caring people like these artists and the buyers who purchase their work, EJAF was able to award more than $7.3 million in grants to 114 worthy organizations during 2013,” said Elton John in a statement. “Their gifts helped support programs assisting homeless teens in New York City, enabling poor people to access the treatment and care they need in the Deep South, providing housing and medical assistance to HIV-positive parolees in the Bronx, serving the urgent needs of HIV-positive people in Haiti, and so much more. This sale at Sotheby’s will help us to continue expanding on these efforts.”
Among the expected highlights are Urs Fischer’s large-scale bronze, Naked Arrest (with an estimate of $250,000–350,000); William Kentridge’s Indian ink drawing Huilboom ($40,000–60,000); and Allora & Calzadilla’s woodcut print Intermission (Halloween Afghanistan: Still Life II) ($80,000–120,000). The full proceeds from the sales will fund EJAF’s grant initiatives.
In addition to the works donated to benefit the EJAF, Sotheby’s is featuring an unusually wide selection of Andy Warhol’s iconic silkscreen portraits of female celebrities during next week’s sale, with canvases featuring Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Debbie Harry, among others (see “A Constellation of Warhol Starlets at Fall Auctions“).
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