NEW YORK, NY.- Christies
and amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, announced a new partnership devoted to raising critical funds for COVID-19 research through a dedicated global auction at Christies this June. After the rapid spread of the coronavirus this spring forced amfAR to cancel its annual fundraising Gala at Cannes, which last year raised $15 million in vital research funds, the two organizations are joining forces to bridge the gap in fundraising and use it as an opportunity to address the new and urgent threat of COVID-19.
From the Studio will present contemporary artworks that have been generously donated by leading collectors and by artists themselves, including new works never before seen by the public, which have been sourced with the help of Michael Nevin, director of The Journal Gallery. Proceeds from the June event at Christies New York will benefit amfAR. As a leader in infectious disease research, amfAR recently announced that it is expanding its research efforts to participate in the all-out effort to develop effective treatments for the new coronavirus, and established the amfAR Fund to Fight COVID-19 for that purpose.
Christies and amfAR will jointly announce details of each donated artwork on a rolling basis throughout May, with accompanying videos and Webinar-style conversations about the works with the project curator and participating artists. The auction is slated to coincide with Christies International 20th Century Week, which will bring together Impressionist, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary art from New York and London auctions that were delayed this year due to precautionary saleroom closures in the U.S. and Europe.
We are deeply grateful to Christies and to all of the artists who are so generously contributing to this endeavor, said Kevin Robert Frost, amfAR Chief Executive Officer. Every dollar raised through this auction will support infectious disease researchers working night and day to find effective treatments for this insidious new virus.
Guillaume Cerutti, Chief Executive Officer, Christies commented: Christies is pleased be a partner with amfAR and the artist community in raising awareness and funds for the important work being undertaken by amfAR and their new, particular focus on effective treatments for COVID-19. As part of our global efforts to support the sale and to ensure that we play an active, responsible role during this challenging time, we will be leveraging all of our international network to ensure the success of this special auction.
Marc Porter, Chairman, Christies Americas added: These last months have been a reminder to us all of the critical importance of continued research in the field of infectious diseases. Through this partnership, Christies and amfAR are creating a convening moment for the global art world to support these important efforts and to honor the generosity of each of the participating artists, some of whom have been creating new works while self-isolating under the threat of this deadly new virus.
amfAR is uniquely positioned to identify gaps in the current research efforts and to quickly mobilize resources to fund the kind of cutting-edge research on COVID-19 that it has been doing for 35 years on HIV/AIDS. Many amfAR-funded scientists have pivoted their work to focus on the immediate crisis of COVID-19, and the new amfAR fund will support them and many more scientists in their efforts to find effective treatments for the coronavirus.
Within the art world, amfAR has a long association with contemporary artists; among its earliest supporters were Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg. Recent amfAR auctions have featured generous donations of new artworks direct from the studio, such as Damien Hirsts gilded mammoth skeleton Gone but Not Forgotten, which realized $15 million, and Jeff Koons monumental Coloring Book, which achieved $13.5 million.