Les Printemps du MAC, an iconic auction

Les Printemps du MAC, an iconic auction
Les Printemps du MAC, an iconic auction

This text is part of the special Philanthropy section

The countdown is on for Les Printemps du MAC, an annual benefit evening for the benefit of the Foundation of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Montreal (MAC). If the event on the theme “Icons” takes place on May 17 at the Arsenal, its auction has now started.

It was in 2019 that Erika Del Vecchio, auction commissioner and member of the MAC Spring Committee, launched this initiative which is gaining momentum from year to year. “We started very humbly, with ten artists, and we raised $25,000. This year, we have 30 works. The auction has an estimated value of $130,000,” she explains.

The curator’s mission is to highlight contemporary, Canadian and emerging or professional artists.

And the works that Erika Del Vecchio selects often push the boundaries of visual arts. Over time, the auction has offered a neon sign, a tattoo, a stained glass window and even a cake.

With the complicity of the artists

This year, Les Printemps du MAC is putting on sale for the first time a garment, created by the artist Marie-Ève ​​Lecavalier. We also find in the catalog a chair by Jeremy Le Chatelier. And at $25,000, Wally Dion’s immense quilt is the most expensive work put up for auction so far. It is also a work created especially for the occasion, like those of the artists Margot Klingender and Studio Rat.

“There are artists who ask me to participate in the Printemps du MAC auction,” says the curator. I think they are excited to be part of the event because they know it and know it has a good reputation. They know that artists are taken care of. »

Although the auction benefits the MAC Foundation, artists who agree to participate are paid. “They receive 30% of the sale of their work and 70% goes to the foundation to support the mission of the Museum of Contemporary Art,” emphasizes M.me Del Vecchio. Without the artists, we would not have an auction. It’s important to do this without taking from one to give to the other. »

According to the curator, the auction reaches out to seasoned collectors as well as first-time buyers. Some already know emerging artists well and jump at this opportunity to get their hands on one of these works. Others can benefit from relatively affordable prices, with prices for works starting at $500.

Above all, the process is rather democratic, believes the commissioner. Participating in an auction is a game, unlike buying in a gallery.

“People can bet all over the world,” notes Charles LeMay, co-chair of the MAC Spring Committee. In fact, there is no need to attend the benefit evening to acquire a work. In the past, works have been sent to buyers in Paris, New York and even Miami.

“It’s a great opportunity to acquire a work and make a direct donation to the foundation,” said Mr. LeMay.

60 years is worth celebrating!

Each year, Les Printemps du MAC offers a theme. This time, it has imposed itself: “Icônes” celebrates the 60th anniversary of the museum by highlighting the works of its collection.

“For the moment of an evening, we will revisit the iconic works that belong to the Museum of Contemporary Art of Montreal,” enthuses Charles LeMay. We are talking about around 8,000 works which, at the moment, are all in boxes due to the museum’s renovations. »

Participants are therefore invited to go to the MACrépertoire to choose a work to draw inspiration from to create their look for the evening.

The theme also inspires the scenography of the evening, which aims to reconnect with art. Originally, Les Printemps du MAC took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where participants had access to exhibition rooms. For several years, as the museum was temporarily closed, art was only sold through auction.

“That’s why we chose the Arsenal as the venue this year: the museum has a permanent exhibition that people are invited to see,” underlines the co-chair of the committee.

The mini MET Gala in Montreal

Big news this year: Printemps du MAC has teamed up with local designers. Among them, we note Markantoine, Noemiah, Eliza Faulkner and Marie Saint Pierre. They all dress a public figure with a creation inspired by one of the MAC’s works.

“For several years, we have been told – and we also say it, without pretension – that we are the Montreal version of the MET Gala,” says Charles LeMay in reference to this ultraglam evening for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This year, we wanted to push the note. »

The objective? Promote Les Printemps du MAC even more to better support contemporary art.

The Printemps du MAC will take place on May 17 at the Arsenal starting at 9 p.m. The auction will end the same evening, at midnight.

This content was produced by the Special Publications team at Duty, relating to marketing. The writing of the Duty did not take part.

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