Cosmic Utopia at ArtCrush | AspenTimes.com

Cosmic Utopia at ArtCrush

May Selby

Every year, the themes for the Aspen Art Museum's (AAM) summer benefit events are drawn from inspiration by works created by the recipient for the Aspen Award for Art. This year, Rashid Johnson was recognized with the esteemed award for his work as an American artist "who employs a wide range of materials and images to explore themes of art history, literature, philosophy, and personal and cultural identity." His installation titled "Antoine's Organ," a montage of plants, wood, tile and other materials inspired the "Greenhouse Chic" theme for WineCrush held Wednesday, Aug. 1, at the home of John and Amy Phelan. Guests dressed in attire with floral patterns, shades of green and even clear (read: raincoats over actual clothing) to follow suit. StoneFox Architects served as the creative minds behind the décor, which paid homage to this larger-than-life installation.

For the main event, ArtCrush, held on Friday, Aug. 3, under big-top tents at the base of Buttermilk, Cosmic Utopia was the theme of the evening, inspired by Johnson's work, "Cosmic Slop Hardcore Jollies." Guest interpretation in the way of attire ranged from silver gowns to sequined one-pieces to starry prints. The glittery scene featured the silent auction, a wine tasting with sommeliers from Aspen's finest cellars, a seated dinner and the 2018 Aspen Award for Art presentation beneath shiny streamers draped from the ceiling, and also the live auction, which commanded everyone's attention and enabled the museum to surpass its fundraising goal. The piece de resistance in the live auction was Johnson's large format piece, "Untitled Escape Collage," kindly donated by Hauser & Wirth and David Kordanksy Gallery. In a riveting back-and-forth bidding war, Troy Carter, a board member of the L.A. County Museum of Art, was the eventual winner of this piece, showing an incredible amount of support for the AAM in doing so.

Held annually every summer, ArtCrush is the major fundraising event benefiting the Aspen Art Museum and Aspen's premier summer gala. http://www.aspenartmuseum.org.

To reach May with invites and insights, email allthewaymaymay.com