The annual LACE Benefit Auction is one of those fundraiser/cocktail party/art shows where it's as prestigious to be included in the show part as in any proper gallery exhibition. Put together by a team that includes artists, critics and curators, the art is organized in a string of small group shows, giving the installation a much more dynamic and coherent feel than the usual art-auction suspects. Just a glance at the list of participating artists offers a sense of the greatness of the work and the stylishness of the expected crowd: Ed Ruscha, Jenny Holzer, Alexandra Grant, Max Maslansky, Martin Durazo, Austin Young, Brenna Youngblood, plus Katie Grinnan and all the artists of the Crescent City hyperopera set-design team (see Friday). All year long LACE’s programming is known for its creatively innovative, socially progressive, politically fearless, performance- and video-centric point of view –and the work contributed to the auction really steps it up, too. This year, the auction will be co-hosted by edge-of-the-red-carpet performance artists Drew Droege, as Chloe Sevigny, and Nadya Ginsburg, as Madonna. Don't forget to drop your wallet in that tiny, tiny purse because you will see something you just have to have, and if you do, stay until bidding closes — open bars can make art patrons quite competitive. Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd; Wed., May 16, 7-10 p.m.; $50 general/$175 VIP in advance; $75/$175 at door.

Wed., May 16, 7 p.m., 2012

LA Weekly