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Earlier this month the Contemporary Art Society, in association with the jeweller Boucheron, hosted another triumphant fundraising gala LEAP! – to raise funds for its mission to buy contemporary art for museums across the UK. The evening event raised over £260,000 through its auction, beating last year's figure of £240,000.
More than 40 internationally acclaimed artists - from Jim Lambie and Paul Noble through to Paula Rego and Bob & Roberta Smith – and newer talents, were commissioned to create new works for a circus-inspired auction, conducted by Sotheby's Olly Barker.
The champagne reception and dinner was held in the former lead and gallery factory of the old Farmiloe Building in Clerkenwell, with the newly created works installed throughout the space. The event was attended by more than 350 art world VIPS who enjoyed a spectacular evening of performances, tomfoolery and high glamour, sponsored by Boucheron.
The evening, which was chaired by Contemporary Art Society Trustee, Sarah Elson and a Committee that included Valeria Napoleone and Anita Zabludowicz, raised an unprecedented amount to acquire new purchases of art. Guests included Ed Vaizey, Bianca Jagger, Grayson Perry, MaureenPaley, Nicholas Logsdail, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Gavin Turk, Kathy Lette , Scott Mead, and Julian Treger.
With Contemporary Art Society's uncontested reputation developed through 100 years of identifying the art stars of the future and buying 'ahead of the curve', the auction offered guests an unrivalled opportunity to purchase works by artists who are attracting national and international critical acclaim and who may not yet be known beyond art world insiders.
The Contemporary Art Society commissioned 44 works to be auctioned on the night, including a charity lot, which will be presented as a gift to the National Galleries of Scotland. The list of artists included David Batchelor, Artists Anonymous, Anne Hardy, David Buckley, Eleanor Moreton, Hannah Starkey, Paloma Varga Weisz, Stephen Nelson, Elizabeth Price, Ruth Proctor, Boo Ritson, Storm Tharp, Rose Wylie, Richard Wentworth, Jim Lambie, Bob & Roberta Smith and Paula Rego.