Get out your handkerchiefs, people, and weep with joy. Just when you thought you'd had enough art auctioneering (post-Incognito and FRESH) to last till the next recession, LACE comes out with a really cool concept: 25 guest curators (including artists Sterling Ruby, Carlee Fernandez, Soo Kim, George Stoll and Anna Sew Hoy; curators Shamin Momin and Aaron Rose; gallerists Thomas Solomon and John Knuth) have created their own mini exhibitions. Fernandez, for instance, chose four of her favorite painters –Tomory Dodge, Dennis Hollingsworth, Liat Yossifor and Mario Correa — while Momin asked pairs of artists to create collaborative works. And all the works are for sale.
What's more, they're for sale on two successive nights. LACE is separating its live and silent auctions into two events: The live auction comes first, on May 20, when you can view and bid on works in the silent auction, which doesn't close until the end of the second night, May 21. Cocktails will be served both nights. (Added benefit: more parking during the week.) It's a bold move, and should be a great evening. Er, two evenings.
Speaking of cool concepts, what better form of fundraiser than the one you don't actually have to attend? That is Side Street Projects' Phantom Ball , which works this way: Each year, Side Street asks a notable artist to create a “party favor” — one work in an edition of 100. Tim Hawkinson, Sam Durant, Matthew Monahan and Edgar Arceneaux have done it in the past; this year's artist is man about town Walead Beshty. Until June 1, his print is available unseen for $150; after June 1, the price doubles to $300; after January 1, 2010, it will cost you $600. So buy your ticket now (online is easy) and just stay home. “As always,” says Side Street, “we'll understand if you can't make it, because nobody ever has. Nobody ever does.” LACE Benefit Art Auction 2009, 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; live auction Wed., May 20; silent auction, Thurs., May 21. All artwork will be on view at LACE May 7-17. Gallery Hours: Wed.-Sun., 12-6 p.m. (323) 957-1777, Ext. 12. Side Street Projects' 16th Annual Phantom Ball: (626) 798-7774 or

Wed., May 20; Thu., May 21, 2009

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