International art world leaders raised 1.2 Million EUR for Ukraine humanitarian and cultural organisations during Venice Biennale. Benefit initiative continues through online auction of more than 40 works available until 8 May.
Therme Art, through its initiative the Ikona Collection, together with TBA21 and the Brant Foundation co-hosted a special benefit event during the Venice Biennale, with proceeds dedicated to supporting pressing humanitarian needs in Ukraine, including cultural workers and resources. Raising a total of 1.2 million EUR, the dinner and live auction conducted by Simon de Pury took place on 21 April at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, Italy, drawing over 230 attendees. The event was held in celebration of Ukrainian culture, aligned under the mission to prevent the extinction of cultural identity targeted by genocide.
Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (TBA21) and Mikolaj Sekutowicz (Therme Art) – Image Manuel Silvestri
A speech by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, provided by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation was screened at the event, during which Zelenskyy noted: “There are no tyrannies that would not try to limit art. Because they can see the power of art.”
Natalia Gnatiuk, Anastasiia Prymachenko and Maria Isserlis speak on stage during the Charity Gala for Ukraine people and culture at Scuola Grande Di San Rocco on April 21, 2022 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images)
The heirs of Maria Prymachenko, praised by the likes of Pablo Picasso and supported by this year’s curator of La Biennale Cecilia Alemani, presented an artwork at auction, achieving new records for the Ukrainian artist, whose work sold for €110,000. New records were also achieved by Claudia Comte, whose 2017 work The Biggest Marble Donut sold for €60,000; and Ukrainian artist Alina Zamanova, whose 2022 work Day 31 of War sold for €35,000.
Simon de Pury auctioning Day 31 of War by Alina Zamanova – Image by Manuel Silvestri
Building on these outstanding results, the benefit continues online through Sunday 8 May, with more than 40 additional works available from artists including Francis Alÿs, Matti Braun, Monica Bonvicini, Ernesto Neto, Urs Fischer, Nikita Kadan, Anish Kapoor, Zhanna Kadyrova, Rob Pruitt, Jose Dávila, Teresa Solar, Victor Sydorenko, and Marianne Vitale .
Organisers Mikolaj Sekutowicz (Ikona Collection), Peter Brant Jr. (Brant Foundation) and Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (TBA21) noted:
“We have been overwhelmed by the incredible response from international arts leaders, philanthropists, collectors, and artists who came together to support the cultural heritage and contemporary creative community in Ukraine this week and have continued to donate to the online auction. We invite everyone to join in supporting these important organizations during this critical time for Ukraine’s people and culture.”
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