Artists for New York is a major initiative to raise funds in support of a group of pioneering non-profit visual arts organisations across New York City that have been profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project brings together dozens of works committed by foremost artists across generations, from both within and outside of the gallery's program, that will be sold to benefit these institutions that have played a significant role in shaping the city's rich cultural history and will play a critical role in its future recovery.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll upon the arts in New York. Facing dire budget shortfalls for the 2020 fiscal year caused by necessary and prolonged closures during the pandemic, and expecting further impact upon earned income and contributed revenue in the year ahead, the city's small and mid-scale institutions are extremely vulnerable at this moment. Artists for New York will raise funds to support the recovery needs of fourteen of these organisations: Artists Space, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Dia Art Foundation, The Drawing Center, El Museo del Barrio, High Line Art, MoMA PS1, New Museum, Public Art Fund, Queens Museum, SculptureCenter, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Swiss Institute, and White Columns.
More than 100 artists have committed works to Artists for New York (full list, in progress, below).
Beginning 1 October 2020, Hauser & Wirth will present all of the artworks donated to Artists for New York to a global audience online. Many of the artworks will also be shown to the public at Hauser & Wirth's two New York gallery spaces at 542 West 22nd Street and 32 East 69th Street from 1–22 October.
Artists for New York has been organised by Marc Payot of Hauser & Wirth in close collaboration with the leadership of the participating non-profit visual arts organisations. Net proceeds from the initiative will be allocated among the fourteen visual arts organisations and two non-profit charitable partners serving the city's wider communities: The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, which works across City government and the business and philanthropic communities to advance initiatives that improve the lives of vulnerable New Yorkers in all five boroughs, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA), founded by John Cage and Jasper Johns, to support individual artists, groups, and organisations making innovative work, and to provide emergency grants to individual artists with project-related needs.
A statement from Marc Payot of Hauser & Wirth:
'As we looked ahead to the fall and how best to emerge from this challenging time, it was clear to Iwan, Manuela, and myself, as well as our artists, that we couldn't simply proceed with "business as usual" without also addressing the very real needs of the non-profit organisations that have become our community since our gallery first opened in New York City in 2009. For us, Artists for New York is a way to support and give back to that community at a critical moment. Through years of adventurous programs with living artists, these fourteen bellwether non-profits have expanded awareness and understanding of society's complexities and potential. They've introduced us to new art and new ways of thinking, they've enriched all of our lives. And we believe they will together play a central role in the city's recovery from this unprecedented time of difficulty, helping their communities to restore, revive, and forge new paths for the future. Most of all, they will continue to foster the breakthroughs of artists.
As the signature for the Artists for New York project, Jenny Holzer's words, 'In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive and You Were Full of Joy,' beautifully capture artists' ability to imagine a better world and light a path forward for all of us. We're profoundly grateful to the many artists who are so generously participating in this collaborative effort. Artists for New York is their gesture and ours—a gesture of love and faith in the enduring power of art to make life better.'
All artists participating in Artists for New York have agreed to donate their artwork so that at least half of all proceeds go to the identified New York City non-profit institutions and charitable partners. After deduction of any share of proceeds to be retained by the artists, and reimbursement of nominal fundraising expenses, all proceeds from Artists for New York will be donated to the abovementioned non-profits. Hauser & Wirth will forego all fees and commissions on sale of artworks.
Artists for New York is a project of #artforbetter, part of Hauser & Wirth's longstanding philanthropic framework. Among its many charitable initiatives, the gallery currently donates 10% of gross profits from all of its online exhibitions to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.
Additional in-kind support for the production of Artists for New York is being provided by Baobab Frames, Bohrens Fine Art Transportation, Dietl International, Downing Frames, Maquette Fine Arts Services, and Nixon Peabody, LLP.
Press release courtesy Hauser & Wirth.