Wine may be the libation of choice at gallery openings, and it is true that art collectors often hoard vintage bottles in their cellars, but ArtCrush is one of the few auction events that pointedly link the two. For its eighth year, the fund-raiser, taking place August 1 through 3 and benefiting the Aspen Art Museum, honors artist Tom Sachs, whose “Space Program: Mars” occupied New York’s Park Avenue Armory from May 16 through June 17. Given Sachs’s recent proclivity toward the astronomical, Aspen Art Museum director Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson quips that “this year’s theme is going to be space, with an overlay of bacon and tequila.” The bash, which draws an international crowd, consists of Wine Crush, a private party hosted by collectors John and Amy Phelan on Wednesday night, followed by Thursday’s Preview Crush party unveiling the next evening’s top lots, which include Joyce Pensato’s “What You See Is What You Get,” 2011, right, and Fred Tomaselli’s “Red Butte,” 1994. Finishing up the week, the ArtCrush Summer Benefit Gala on Friday features a wine tasting and a live auction of 10 art lots conducted by Sotheby’s during dinner, followed by a silent auction of 40 to 50 art lots and 30 to 40 wine lots. “Aspen in summer is basically perfect,” says Jacobson, “and this is a series of opportunities for people to come together and look at great art, enjoy good wine, talk to like-minded people, and then, in and around that, go for bike rides, hikes, swims, and just generally enjoy the beauty of the place.”
This article appears in the July/August issue of Art+Auction magazine.