Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation is gearing up for its annual charity auction this weekend. The 20th anniversary celebration is going to be quite different this year. In the first place, it takes place at a Sonoma Winery—Jackson Family Wines—that has a sustainability program. The fundraiser will be a zero waste event where everything created for the event will be repurposed for another use.
More important for the art market, Lisa Schiff, who organizes the auction for the foundation, has taken a new approach to the event. Opening the bidding to anyone, whether they attend the gala or not, via Invaluable, Schiff has cut the number of lots on offer dramatically and focused on works that will retain their value.
“We have tightened up our offerings,” Schiff says, “so we are not bringing just the usual suspects; we’re not hyping speculative works; and the things we sell will have lasting value well beyond the auction.”
Bids have already started at Invaluable. Among the works offered in the sale is a large Wayne Thiebaud landscape (above) donated by the artist and Acquavella gallery. Bids on the six-foot-tall painting begin at $3m but Schiff points out the market value is $4.5m.
“Getting a work of this caliber is unprecedented, Schiff says. “There are also major works by Ai Weiwei, Jack Goldstein, Deborah Butterfield and Fred Wilson, among others.”
The event will further make the connection between art and environmentalism. “We are also launching our first Art and Environment award to Wayne Thiebaud for depiction of the landscape of Northern California throughout his career,” Schiff says. “And we are launching our first lifetime achievement award for conservation to Arne Glimcher for his work in Africa.”
Arne Glimcher will receive an award for Lifetime Achievement in Conservation because of his decades of work through the African Environmental Film Foundation (AEFF). Wayne Thiebaud will receive the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s first Art and Environment award.