July 29, 2012: Sudden torrential showers during the 19th Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit didn’t dampen the spirits at the sold out event and apparently didn’t keep anyone home. Over 1200 people turned out for one of the season’s most anticipated events raising $1,550,000 for the center’s artist programs.
More than $800,000 came from ticket sales alone and over $700,000 was raised during the silent auction and live auction at dinner, which included a rare drawing by Willem de Kooning and a stunning gilded piece by Otto Piene, which Cindy Sherman scooped up. Maja Hoffman, a major supporter of the exhibition "Mike Kelley: 1954-2012" (which opened at the event and will be on view until September 16), won a distinctive hand painted mask from Robert Wilson’s production of "The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic."
There were over 20 site specific installations and performances that were presented on the grounds during the event by such artists as Misaki Kawai, Wang Quinsong, Lucien Smith, Heeran Lee, Paul McCarthy, Kembra Pfahler and The Voluptuos Horror of Karen Black, Atopos CVC + Manon Kundig, Carol Ross, Desi Santiago, Tucker Marder, Kitty Huffman, Atopos CVC + Craig Green, Masanao Hirayama, Hanna Reidmar, Paula Garcia, Marianna Kavallieratos, Thanassis Akokkalidis, and Janice Lancaster Larsen.
These works were produced by more than 70 artists and participants from over 2 dozen nations at the Watermill Center in the weeks leading up to the benefit. Many will be on view again to the community on August 12 from 3-6 pm for Watermill’s annual Discover Watermill day which is free and open to the public.
he Watermill Center is a laboratory for performance founded by Robert Wilson as a unique environment for young and emerging artists from around the world to explore new ideas. Watermill draws inspiration from all the arts and cultures as well as from social, human and natural sciences. Watermill is a global community of artists. Living and working together among the extensive collection of art and artifacts lies at the heart of the Watermill experience. Watermill is a haven for the next generations of artists, supporting their work among a network of international institutions and venues that embrace new interdisciplinary approaches.
For more information on the Watermill Center, please visit www.watermillcenter.org
Photography: Barry Gordin
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