ARTnews has learned that on September 12, Larry Gagosian will host “Art for Hillary Auction 2016” at the Gagosian Gallery space on West 21st Street in Chelsea, presiding over a benefit sale that will raise money for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Artists who have donated works to the show, according to sources, include Jeff Koons, Sarah Sze, Chuck Close, Barbara Kruger, Elisabeth Kley, Joyce Pensato, Deborah Kass, and the identical-twin duo of Ryan and Trevor Oakes.
The Hillary Clinton campaign did not respond to an email asking for information regarding ticket pricing and availability. [UPDATE: tickets range from $1,000 to $50,000, the latter of which comes with a print by Jeff Koons, “Gazing Ball (da Vinci Mona Lisa)”, 2016.] There will be a 6 p.m. reception for “host committee, artists & special guests,” followed by the auction from 7 to 9 p.m. (A representative at Gagosian Gallery did not respond to calls and emails requesting comment.)
While art galleries occasionally host fundraisers for political candidates at their spaces, this appears to be a first for Larry Gagosian. In 2012, he gave $5,000 to the Mitt Romney campaign, but did not go as far as to throw a fundraiser for the Republican nominee in his gallery. (He also contributed $2,700 to the Chris Christie campaign during the Republican primary.)
The Democratic Presidential nominee will not be in attendance during the auction, sources said, though her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, will be there in her place. Clinton will apparently be in Paris.
To thank the artists for their contributions, and to make up for her inability to attend in person, Clinton made time during a busy fundraising weekend in the Hamptons to host a meet-and-greet Sunday at the home of collectors Lisa and Richard Perry in Sag Harbor. Though this reporter was not in attendance—Clinton has not been allowing the press to attend ticketed campaign events—sources said that each attendee had to be vetted by the Secret Service ahead of time, and arrive during a very specific time window in order to be let in. There was airport-style security at the entrance.
Around 3 p.m., the Secret Service surveyed the room, and once it was clear, Clinton came into the garden area, being led through by Lisa Perry. After saying a quick hello to Jeff Koons (she bestowed upon him a U.S. State Department Medal of Arts in 2012, when she was Secretary of State), she spoke to the crowd for about seven minutes, touching upon the importance of the arts and reminding them that her opponent, Donald J. Trump, does not really care for their profession. After that, she spoke with each of the artists in attendance, and managed to take a few selfies with admirers.
And, as evidenced by a picture that was shared on one attendee’s Instagram Story feed, Larry Gagosian was standing in the room, watching it all, wearing a canary yellow jacket.