Home Museum institution The back room: Rocky Mountain High

The back room: Rocky Mountain High



Lunch at the Aspen Art Museum at the Pine Creek Cookhouse.

After ending July with a star-studded stay at Los Angeles, the art market wagon rolled up to Aspen this week for a little majesty of the Rocky Mountains. For those who couldn’t make the trip (and those in town too busy to check their own schedule), Katya Kazakina has put together a snow globe full of information about the industry’s paradise at a point of. fascinating inflection.


“The appeal of Aspen is nothing new,” Katya writes. The city has been a ‘popular destination for the mega-rich’ for Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami for decades. Along with the seasonal population, the artistic ecosystem has grown steadily, a fact that cannot be ignored at this particular time of summer.

The centerpiece of the week is the Aspen Art Museumis annual Love for art summer gala, this time in honor of the artist Mary weatherford. (Sotheby’s is sponsoring the night this year and waiving its fees for the associated auction.) The gala reliably brings a blizzard of billionaires, artists, curators and dealers, and this August is no different . A sample of the movers and shakers seen around town include…

  • Fashion and old frame Sotheby’s President Domenico de Sole
  • Collectors Janna bullock and Jamie Tisch, Jorge and Darlene Pérez (of Perez Museum of Art in Miami Fame), and Debra and Dennis Scholl
  • Prospect 5 New Orleans conservative and LACMA the executive Naïma keith
  • Renowned Colombian artist Doris Salcedo
  • Powerful players in the auction house Lisa Dennison of Sotheby’s and Capera Ryan of Christie’s

In addition to the Aspen Art Museum and its gala, the Anderson Ranch Center for the Arts has long attracted major artists, patrons and other professionals to the city. Beloved local galleries like Baldwin and Casterline Goodman have also been dealing with empty walls in collectors’ homes and offices for years. Only now these basic scene elements are just a part of a different kind of artistic love.


Similar to what we saw in the Hamptons and Palm Beach, COVID has motivated many more high earners to retreat to Aspen shelters that have become seasonal homes. Merchants and auction houses followed, and a year later Marianne Boesky Gallery senior director Kelly woods calls this week in the city “arguably the busiest it has ever been”.

Aspen’s main strategy for sellers has been to create seasonal pop-up spaces. With Boesky (who moved here in 2017), last night’s Aspen Gallery Party had 20 attendees, including recent arrivals. Almine Rech, Honor Fraser, Lehmann Maupin, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, and White cube. Christie’s also joined us, presenting a preview of the Impressionist jewels of the $ 200 million texas tanker collection Edwin L. Cox is expected to hit the block in November.

Aspen’s lifestyle also influences the type of activity pop-ups do.:

  • Almine Rech rotates exhibitions every 2.5 weeks until mid-September to stimulate repeat visits. A June show of Nathaniel Mary Quinn sold out at prices of $ 30,000 To $ 145,000; a July show of Genesis Tramaine does the same at prices of $ 15,000 To $ 80,000
  • Local collectors also tend to want major works for their even larger homes, according to David Maupin of Lehmann Maupin, who placed a five-by-five foot Nari district with a Texas-based administrator to $ 185,000.

Even the Intersect aspen art fair (complete sales report here) had an additional pop-up dimension. This year’s edition was crowned with a $ 25 million Clyfford Still canvas available at the stand of new York‘s Di Donna Galleries-or more precisely, to Selavy by Di Donna, the seasonal branch of the dealership for the pandemic year.