Two of the newer organizations in the art world -- the non-profit public art association Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND, founded in 2009) and virtual auction house Paddle8 (launched in 2011) -- came together Wednesday for an intimate affair at the Bulgari Beverly Hills location. The occasion was the launch of Vanguard, a contemporary art sale curated by LAND’s Shamim Momin.
Guests mingled and drank Ruinart champagne while perusing the works and auction sponsor Bulgari’s jewelry. “I came straight here from the LACMA [Wear LACMA, a fashion design project inspired by the museum’s permanent collection] event,” said actress Jennifer Tilly. “I became a LAND member just today. This combines the best of two worlds: jewelry, art… and champagne. I guess that’s three worlds.”
For her part, Momin injects a little bit of New York art world cool into Los Angeles, having come from the Whitney Museum where she co-curated the 2004 and 2008 Whitney Biennials. She started LAND to do critically relevant public art projects around Los Angeles, including Zoe Crosher’s invocation of Hollywood writer Eve Babitz and the upcoming interpretation of Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita by Jen DeNike, both at Soho House West Hollywood. “Paddle8 and LAND have been working together since Paddle8 started. We believe in the way that they approach auctions, and they, in turn, believe in the way that we work,” she says. Works available include pieces from John Baldessari, Tracey Emin, Terence Koh, and Ryan McGinley.
The partnership began when Paddle8 proposed to LAND a collaborative auction. “For us, it made a lot of sense. We had a very successful experience with them at the last gala,” said Momin, whose galas regularly pull in a high-profile guests like Joaquin Phoenix, Eva Longoria and Rose McGowan.
Vanguard’s 32 lots are available to bid on now on Paddle8 -- the bidding ends May 11 during the Frieze Art Fair New York, and there will be a closing event at Greenwich Village restaurant Carbone hosted by Stavros Niarchos, Bob Colacello, Vladimir Roitfeld, Jeanne Greenberg-Rohatyn, Jamie Tisch, Maria Bell and Glenn O'Brien.
The event was Paddle8’s second West Coast event – CAA’s Apr. 23 Angel Art auction was the house’s first — since opening their L.A. office 10 days ago. West Coast managing director James Salzmann was excited to work with Momin and the LAND team. “They have an amazing reputation and have been doing tremendous work,” he said. “Shamim has made this whole thing a complete breeze for us. She and her team work 16-hour days to achieve what they’re achieving. We’re just happy to take their auction to a worldwide auction.”
LAND will open Painting in Place, a large-scale painting exhibition, at the old Farmers & Merchants Bank in Downtown Los Angeles on May 22.