LACMA Set to Honor Robert Irwin and Kathryn Bigelow at 2016 Art + Film Gala

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Robert Irwin, Kathryn Bigelow

The Gucci-sponsored benefit, which dedicates equal applause to a notable name from the art world as well as the movie business, is set to take place Oct. 29 at the museum.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced Wednesday that it will honor light and space artist Robert Irwin and Oscar-winning filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow at its 2016 Art + Film Gala, scheduled for Oct. 29 at the museum.

Presented once again by Gucci, the sixth annual event also brings back co-chairs Eva Chow, a LACMA trustee, and Leonardo DiCaprio, an Oscar-winning actor and longtime LACMA and arts supporter. Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele serves as chair of the gala host committee. The luxury label will likely dress many of the night's A-list attendees, like it did last year when Jared Leto, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dakota Johnson, Saoirse Ronan, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Salma Hayek and Chloe Sevigny all turned up in Gucci. 

The evening serves as a major LACMA benefit with proceeds funneled to support the museum's initiative to make film more central to its curatorial programming while also funding LACMA’s broader mission that includes exhibitions, acquisitions and educational programming. But the evening also has another fortunate side effect: The invite pulls many A-list, well-dressed guests from the executive level to the arts that one reveler told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 that "it almost felt like the West Coast version of the Met Gala."

Last year’s Art + Film Gala, which honored James Turrell and Academy Award-winning director Alejandro G. Inarritu and raised more than $4 million, featured a guest list including the aforementioned names along with Francois-Henri Pinault, Disney's Bob Iger and Alan Horn, Paramount's Brad Grey, Fox's Jim Gianopulos, Bob Shaye, Netflix's Ted Sarandos, Brian Grazer, CAA's Richard Lovett, Bob Daly, Terry Semel, Mike and Irena Medavoy, Steve Bing, Megan Ellison, Steve Tisch, Kim Kardashian, Reese Witherspoon, Usher, Naomi Campbell, Diane Kruger, Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci, Christian Louboutin, Monique Lhuillier, Jenni Kayne and Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott. 

"Now in its sixth year, LACMA's Art + Film Gala has established its reputation as the touchstone annual event celebrating the intersection of art, film, and fashion,” said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg director. "The 2016 Art + Film Gala honorees, Robert Irwin and Kathryn Bigelow, are gifted artists who are fearless in their creative and social practice. Kathryn’s films are visually and thematically captivating and truly exemplify her singular vision as an artist. Bob is one of the most significant artists of our time. He creates art not of objects but of perception.”

Added Chow: “I am thrilled to co-chair the Art + Film Gala alongside Leonardo DiCaprio for the sixth time. Each year, this event is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the profound impact of art and film in Los Angeles and beyond. It is a privilege to honor Robert Irwin and Kathryn Bigelow, two incredibly talented artists whose work reveals unique experiences and perspectives.”

Irwin, born in Long Beach, Calif., is known as one of the pioneers of the Los Angeles-based “Light and Space” movement of the 1960s. For more than six decades, he has explored perception as the fundamental issue of art. Irwin, through a continual breaking down of the frame, came to regard the role of art as “conditional,” or something that works in and responds to the specific surrounding world of experience.

He is credited with more than 55 site-conditional projects since 1975, including the Central Garden at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. At LACMA, Irwin began working on the Primal Palm Garden in 2010, an evolving installation comprised of over 100 palms, cycads and tree ferns. LACMA has collected the work of Irwin since the early 1960s and has consistently displayed the artist’s seminal efforts. In 2015, the museum acquired Irwin’s Miracle Mile, a site-specific installation currently on view in BCAM.

Bigelow, who was originally trained as a painter, won best director and best picture Oscars for her 2008 Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker. Her other films include K-19: The Widowmaker, Point Break and Zero Dark Thirty. She currently is in production on her Untitled Detroit Project, a crime drama which explores systemic racism in urban Detroit and is set against the backdrop of the city’s devastating riots that took place over five haunting summer days in 1967. That film is set to be released in 2017.

Bigelow graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute and was invited to study at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. She later entered the graduate film program at Columbia University, where she earned her master’s degree. In 2011, MoMA honored Bigelow’s work in both film and the visual arts with a showcase and exhibition, "Crafting Genre: Kathryn Bigelow."

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