Every summer, the Whitney hosts its Art Party, a youthful fundraising bash that features a silent auction of contemporary artwork donated by artists and dealers. This year, the museum has given the event a 21st century twist, putting the auction online a few weeks before the actual party. The most coveted works even have a “buy now” button—just like Ebay!—which lets buyers snag those pieces instantly. Flummoxed by the breadth of the 69 available works–which run the gamut from sculptures to collages, from both rising stars and firmly established artists—we asked the highly regarded art advisor Candace Worth of Worth Art Advisory to give us her expert take.
Worth’s first pick was the FedEx box by Walead Beshty. “It’s just a wonderful piece and it’s small enough to put anywhere” she said. (The current bid on the work, constructed from FedEx supplies and safety glass and related to Beshty’s lauded installation in this year’s Whitney Biennial, is $2,000.) “Very often his pieces are offered in groups—it’s not as easy to get a single work.” Worth also pointed out Melanie Schiff’s dimly-lit color photograph of herself on a beer-bottle surrounded couch, Self-Portrait After John’s Party (bidding is currently at $600). “She’s a great up-and-coming photographer from Chicago. That’s also a really good price,” said Worth. Also catching Worth’s eye are Mika Rottenberg’s drawing P24 (currently at $400), Aaron Morse’s watercolor Berlin (Kennedy) (currently at $1,000) and Matthew Brannon’s gracefully composed letterpress print, Unfinished Business (currently at $2600).
Online bidding will continue until June 16 (the party is on the 17th) and right now the floor is pretty wide open—none of the items have been sold.
From top: Walead Beshty, SSCC 139751 REV 10/05 “FedEx® Large Box”, Priority Overnight (Los Angeles-Chicago trk#837549197959, Chicago-New York trk#865651051269), 2007 Courtesy the artist and China Art Objects Galleries and Wallspace Gallery
Melanie Schiff, Self-Portrait After John’s Party, 2008 Courtesy of Kavi Gupta Gallery