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Aspen Art Museum's 2012 ArtCrush Benefit raises $1.8 million
Amy Phelan onstage in the Live Auction Tent. Images courtesy of the Billy Farrell Agency.

ASPEN, CO.- On Friday, August 3, 2012, the Aspen Art Museum hosted a successful eighth annual ArtCrush summer benefit, raising $1.8 million to benefit the Museum’s educational programming and exhibitions. The ten-lot Live Auction of contemporary art raised a total of $770,000 and the seventy-lot Silent Auction of contemporary art garnered an additional $774,000. With the addition of twelve rare wine lots, the combination represented the highest auction value ever in the history of the event.

ArtCrush honoree and AAM 2012 Aspen Award for Art recipient Tom Sachs was on hand as the bricolage sculpture he created especially for this year’s ArtCrush gala was sold for $155K – well over its $120K estimated value. Titled Poche Vide (2011-2012), the work was among the highlights of the live auction, which was presided over by Sotheby’s European Senior International Specialist of Contemporary Art Oliver Barker. Sachs’ sculpture was joined by Ryan Gander’s Where’s My Mojo Gone? ($22K); Angel Otero’s Untitled [SK-FS] ($55K); Jim Hodges’ Study for #7 ($35K); Jonathan Horowitz’s Coke/Pepsi [136 Cans] ($65K); Fred Tomaselli’s Red Butte ($60K); Monika Sosnowska’s Flower Rack ($45K); William Eggleston’s Untitled [Berries] ($38K); Tom Friedman’s Which ($145K); and Rob Pruitt’s Sweet Revenge—which sold for $150K, twice its estimated value of $75K.

AAM National Council member Amy Phelan was once again Chair of this year’s festivities. The main Friday night gala marked the culmination of the museum’s three day benefit, which hosts approximately 400 of the world’s most influential art collectors, wine connoisseurs, artists, gallery owners, museum directors, curators, and global business leaders. ArtCrush 2012 event attracted notable attendees such as international cycling legend Lance Armstrong and fashion-world icon Domenico De Sole, both on the AAM Board of Trustees; and Ellen Degeneres’ personal DJ Tony Okungbowa who entertained at AfterPartyCrush at Belly Up, Aspen on August 3, 2012.

The evening of Wednesday, August 3, 2012, the WineCrush event at the contemporary art-filled home of Amy Phelan and John Phelan (Museum Board of Trustees Co-President) featured rare vintages of WineCrush event sponsor Dom Pérignon’s legendary champagne. As guests were seated, John Phelan announced that the Aspen Art Museum has now raised $51.5 million to date in its ongoing capital campaign, $20 million of which fulfills the AAM endowment, with the rest going toward funding the Museum's new building project designed by internationally renowned architect Shigeru Ban, and slated to open in 2014.

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