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Contemporary Art

Aspen’s Annual ArtCrush Fundraiser Is a Summer Phenomenon

The Aspen Art Museum’s ArtCrush has become a cultural anchor of the art world’s summer season. First held in 2005, this annual fundraising event “brings together top artists, curators, collectors and connoisseurs for three days of art, nature, conversation and fun,” says host Amy Phelan. Sponsored by Sotheby’s for the past six years, the event brings serious philanthropists to the mountain town, having raised a total of $23 million since its start. The fourteenth edition began yesterday with WineCrush, an evening of wine, food and dancing hosted by Phelan and her husband John, co-president of the museum board.

The Aspen Art Museum exterior, design by Shigeru Ban.
The Aspen Art Museum design by Shigeru Ban. Photograph by Michael Moran/OTTO.

PreviewCrush follows today, and gives visitors the chance to view the artworks headed to the live and silent auctions on Friday. Pieces by Carroll Dunham, Eric Fischl, Sam Falls, Leo Villareal, Robert Longo, Rashid Johnson will be sold to support the Aspen Art Museum's curatorial and educational programs.

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Rashid Johnson receives the 2018 Aspen Award for Art and a solo show at the museum next summer. Photograph © Eric Vogel

A major feature is the Aspen Award for Art, which this year goes to American artist Rashid Johnson, who previously donated work to support the event. A solo presentation of his work will open at the museum next summer. AAM director Heidi Zuckerman says his art “transcends a range of materials and disciplines to help us to think in new ways about the world around us.”

ArtCrush is on view at the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, from 1–3 August.

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