Tuesday, May 1, 2018

SECOND at Kimpton Hotel Eventi
849 6th Avenue New York City

6:30–11:00 p.m.
Party Attire

A celebration of Art21’s history of excellence in exploring the voices and creative practices of the greatest artists of our time. Honoring the legacy created by Susan Sollins and showcasing the artists, producers, and leaders that make Art21 possible.


Agnes Gund pays tribute to Susan Sollins
Susan Sollins
Founder (In Memoriam)

Susan Sollins has been well known in the field of contemporary art for more than 30 years for her innovations in public programming and museum education, and as a curator. In addition to her work for many art institutions as a curator and consultant, Sollins was the co-founder and Executive Director Emerita of Independent Curators International (ICI), a nonprofit organization that develops, organizes, and circulates traveling exhibitions of contemporary art presenting a broad range of recent trends and aesthetic concerns to viewers nationwide and abroad. During her 21-year tenure, ICI’s 75 exhibitions featuring more than 1,700 artists were seen at more than 360 institutions and alternative spaces in the US, Europe, Canada, and Mexico.

Sollins founded Art21 in 1997 and served as Executive Director for seventeen years. She was the Executive Producer and Curator through seven seasons of the organization’s flagship PBS-broadcast series, Art21 Art in the Twenty-First Century.

Evening Honoree
Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu was born in 1970 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She studied at University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar (1990–91), earned a BA from Kalamazoo College, Michigan (1992), and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence (1997). She was a resident of the CORE Program, Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1997–98) and the Artist-in-Residence Program at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2001).

The Talent

Artist Pedro Reyes will design a birthday cake celebrating Art21’s twenty-one years on television
Pedro Reyes

Pedro Reyes was born in Mexico City in 1972. He designs ongoing projects that propose playful solutions to social problems. From turning guns into musical instruments, to hosting a People’s United Nations to address pressing concerns, to offering ecologically-friendly grasshopper burgers from a food cart, Reyes transforms existing problems into ideas for a better world. In the artist’s hands, complex subjects like political and economic philosophies are reframed in ways that are easy to understand, such as a puppet play featuring Karl Marx and Adam Smith fighting over how to share cookies.

assume vivid astro focus will provide custom artwork to be featured in Art21’s invitation and event decor, including a special birthday hat given as a favor to guests
assume vivid astro focus

The collective assume vivid astro focus (avaf) was formed in New York City in 2001. Its principal members are Eli Sudbrack (born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1968) and Christophe Hamaide-Pierson (born in Paris, France in 1973). Avaf fuses drawing, sculpture, video, and performance into carnavalesque installations in which gender, politics, and cultural codes float freely. A study in visual adaptation and modification, avaf’s work recycles and transforms imagery from one project to the next—often in the form of densely patterned wallpapers and graphic signage.

Pianist, composer, and bandleader Jason Moran will present Julie Mehretu as the honoree at Art21’s first gala event
Jason Moran

Jason Moran was born in 1975 in Houston, Texas. An innovative and genre-crossing jazz performer, Moran has a venerable career as a recording and performing musician, marrying classical, blues, and jazz with hip-hop, funk, and rock in ways that continually expand genre boundaries. Moran has collaborated with jazz masters such as Charles Lloyd, Bill Frisell, and the late Sam Rivers, as well as the drummer Nasheet Waits and the bassist Tarus Mateen in the trio, The Bandwagon. Moran also collaborates extensively with a broad range of visual artists, including Adrian Piper, Joan Jonas, Glenn Ligon, Stan Douglas, Adam Pendleton, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, and Julie Mehretu. His work has been commissioned by the Walker Art Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Dia Art Foundation, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Harlem Stage.

The Birthday Gifts

Art21 artists will contribute unique artworks and experiences for a silent auction. The items will be displayed as unique birthday gifts to celebrate Art21’s 21st anniversary. Artists participating:
Creative Growth Art Center

Creative Growth Art Center is a non-profit that serves artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities, providing a professional studio environment for artistic development, gallery exhibition and representation and a social atmosphere among peers.

Raúl de Nieves

Raúl de Nieves was born in 1983 in Michoacán, Mexico and lives and works in New York. De Nieves, who works in sculpture and performance, attributes his art practice to his childhood education in Mexico, where he was taught to sew and crochet. He makes intricate sculptures using plastic beads that require intensive manual labor, and has gained recognition in both the art and fashion worlds.

Leonardo Drew

Leonardo Drew was born in Tallahassee, Florida in 1961, and grew up in a public housing project in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Although often mistaken for accumulations of found objects, his sculptures are instead made of “brand new stuff”—materials such as wood, rusted iron, cotton, paper, mud—that he intentionally subjects to processes of weathering, burning, oxidization, and decay. Whether jutting from a wall or traversing rooms as freestanding installations, his pieces challenge the architecture of the space in which they’re shown.

Daniel Gordon

Daniel Gordon was born in 1980 in Boston, Massachusetts, was raised in San Francisco, California, and lives and works in New York. Described in a 2014 New Yorker review as an artist who “makes Matisse look like a minimalist,” Gordon creates works that dissolve distinctions between collage, photography, and sculpture.

Katharina Grosse

Katharina Grosse was born in 1961 in Freiburg/Breisgau, Germany. Grosse is a painter who often employs electrifying sprayed acrylic colors to create large-scale sculptural environments and smaller wall works. Interested in the shifts of scale between ‘imagining big’ while being small in relationship to one’s surroundings, she explores the dynamic interplay between observing the world and simply being in it.

Rashid Johnson

Rashid Johnson was born in 1977 in Chicago, Illinois, and lives and works in New York. Johnson, who got his start as a photographer, works across media—including video, sculpture, painting, and installation—using a wide variety of materials to address issues of African American identity and history. Johnson is currently working on directing a film feature of Richard Wright’s novel “The Native Son”.

Aki Sasamoto

Aki Sasamoto was born in 1980 in Kanagawa, Japan and now lives and works in New York. An installation and performance artist, Sasamoto works in various media, finding material inspiration in response to the conditions of her site or surroundings.

Sarah Sze

Sarah Sze was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1969. Sze builds her installations and intricate sculptures from the minutiae of everyday life, imbuing mundane materials, marks, and processes with surprising significance. Combining domestic detritus and office supplies into fantastical miniatures, she builds her works, fractal-like, on an architectural scale.

Ursula von Rydingsvard

Ursula von Rydingsvard was born in Deensen, Germany, in 1942. She received a BA and an MA from the University of Miami, Coral Gables (1965), an MFA from Columbia University (1975), and an honorary doctorate from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore (1991). Von Rydingsvard’s massive sculptures reveal the trace of the human hand and resemble wooden bowls, tools, and walls that seem to echo the artist’s family heritage in pre-industrial Poland before World War II.

The Estate of John Chamberlain

John Chamberlain was born in 1927 in Rochester, Indiana, and died in 2011 in New York. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago from 1951 to 1952, and Black Mountain College, North Carolina, from 1955 to 1956. Chamberlain’s first retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1971) was followed by more than one hundred solo exhibitions throughout his life. Chamberlain’s focus on discovered or spontaneous correlations between materials has prompted the interpretation of his work as a kind of three-dimensional Abstract Expressionism.

Photo: © 2018 Fairweather & Fairweather LTD/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

21st Anniversary Program Support

Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 9

The only series on television in the United States to focus exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists, Art in the Twenty-First Century is a Peabody Award-winning, biennial program that allows viewers to observe artists at work, watch as they transform inspiration into art, and hear how they struggle with both the physical and visual challenges of achieving their visions.

In fall 2018, Art21 will premiere the ninth season of the series, featuring artists from the international cultural centers of Berlin, Johannesburg, and San Francisco.

Art21 Educators Summer Institute

Help to support the integration of arts learning in schools by making a contribution to the Art21 Educators program, an intensive, year-long professional development initiative and learning community that empowers K-12 educators interested in bringing contemporary art into the classroom. By making a donation on the occasion of Art21’s 21st Anniversary, you will help to support the annual Summer Institute, a week-long retreat in NYC for the new cohort of Educators. During the program, Educators meet with visiting artists and guest presenters to develop their familiarity with contemporary art, and explore ways to use Art21 films and resources in the classroom.

Tables & Tickets


Premier table for 12 guests with the option to host an artist at the table, recognition in all event materials, opportunity for artist collaboration and activation prior to or at the event, opportunity to design and produce gift bag, lead sponsor on-screen logo credit on film at the event, recognition at podium, a signed copy of and credit in Art21’s anniversary book, Being An Artist: Interviews with Art21, and lead logo placement on Art21’s website.


Preferred location table for 12 guests with the option to host an artist at the table, recognition in all event materials, opportunity to contribute items to the gift bag, on-screen logo credit on film at the event, recognition at podium, copy and credit on Art21’s anniversary book, and logo placement on Art21’s website.


Table for 10 guests, recognition in all event materials, on-screen logo credit on film at the event, recognition at podium, a copy of and credit in Art21’s anniversary book, and logo placement on Art21’s website.


Individual | $1,000
Art21 Artist or Educator sponsored ticket: $500

Executive Director & Chief Curator
Tina Kukielski

Anne Bevis Detwiler*
Louise Eliasof*
Barbara Gundlach*
Ryan Rockefeller*
Carrie Mae Weems*

Anniversary Committee
Mark Guiducci
Sara Shlesinger
Migs & Bing Wright*

Benefit Committee
Noreen Ahmad
Jane Alexander
El Anatsui
Enrica Arengi Bentivoglio
Laurie Beckelman
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Marianne Boesky Gallery
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
Sarah Booth*
Allison Card, Metro Pictures
Amita Chatterjee
Jane & James Cohan*
Paula Cooper Gallery
Dan Desmond
Bridget Donahue
Mark Dorfman
Suzanne Egeran
Alexandra Fairweather & Eric Goodman
Marcia & Jess Fardella*
Henrique Faria Fine Art
Leslie Fritz & Jason Kraus
Ryan & Tucker Gates*
Dolly Bross Geary & Jack Geary
Stacey & Rob Goergen
Marian Goodman Gallery
Agnes Gund
Steven Henry & Philip Shneidman
David Howe*
Roger Kass
Johann König
David Kordansky Gallery
Miyoung Lee & Neil Simpkins
Lehmann Maupin
Maya Lorenz-Malek
Scott Lorinsky
Meg Malloy, Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
Scott Mueller
Hiroko Onoda
Will Palley*
Brenda R. Potter
Donna & Benjamin Rosen
Mary Sabbatino, Galerie Lelong & Co.
Tina Samii
Carole Server & Oliver Frankel
Amanda Sharp
Barbara Toll
Susanne Vielmetter
Christine Zehner
*Art21 Board Member

We would like to thank the following
companies for their generous donations