PaperCity Magazine

June 2016 - Houston

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BOGOTÁ, BUENOS AIRES AND RIO CALLING MFAH LATIN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE GALA Marco Bracamontes CATHERINE D. ANSPON RECAPS THE MOST INTERNATIONAL BALL OF THE YEAR. PHOTOGRAPHY WILSON PARISH AND PRISCILLA DICKSON. JUNE | PAGE 13 | 2016 A GLAM GLOBAL EVENING FOR A VAUNTED DEPARTMENT Every two years, a Latin wave descends upon Houston for a celebratory weekend brimming with art-historical riches that rewrite 20th- and 21st-century art history into a volume heavily accented by Spanish and Portuguese. The occasion is the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Latin American Experience Weekend, topped by a Gala and Auction that always raises seven figures for the MFAH's Latin American department and its research institute, the International Center for the Arts of the Americas. Patrons supreme (and one of the evening's top three couple underwriters) Linda and George Kelly presided as gala chairmen. Also playing leading roles were department founder and head Mari Carmen Ramírez, who has inverted the world of Latin American art since her arrival at the MFAH in 2001, and auction advisers collectors Brad Bucher (he and wife Leslie among the night's major underwriters), Mary Lile (she and husband Tom also underwrote) and powerhouse gallerist Maria Inés Sicardi. INTERNATIONALS AMONG US Stalwart supporters, especially members of the Maecenas collectors group, turned out, including Mary and Bernie Arocha, Jereann Chaney, Mary Cullen, Barbara and Tom Solís, Joanna and Rusty Wortham (whose family endows the curatorship), Gail and Louis Adler, Celina Hellmund, Sofia Adrogué and Sten Gustafson, Cecilia and Luis Campos, Tinta and Pablo Henning, Carolina and Sergio Weitzman (whose largesse made the dinner's wine pairings possible), Cecily Horton, Kathy and Marty Goossen, Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein, Sam Gorman, Houston and Buenos Aires architect Victoria Goldstein and music man Randall Jamail. They were joined by out-of-towners including artist headliner Miguel Angel Rios; dealers Roland Augustine and Cecilia de Torres, Gego Foundation co-director Tomás Gunz (the late Venezuelan artist's son) and wife Cecilia and mega Miami collector Tanya Brillembourg, whose Latin American trove was on view at the MFAH in 2013. From Houston's consular corps, Consul General of Colombia Miguel Rafael López Méndez received a special accolade bestowed by MFAH director Gary Tinterow. López Méndez was in attendance with wife Olga Cecilia Patrón de López, as well as a contingent of nearly 40 gala-goers in from Colombia. CONTINGENT BEAUTY + AUCTION DRAMA Adding energy to the night was the unveiling of "Contingent Beauty," Ramírez's curatorial take on recent developments in Latin American art that subvert the concept of beauty, as well as the live auction that defines this global benefit. Sotheby's Jamie Niven was at his best, coaxing bids from the knowledgeable crowd for nearly an hour, through 23 lots. An impressive $747,000 was hammered down, thanks to collectors such as Brad Bucher and William Restrepo, who acquired, respectively, works by Regina Silveira (re-gifted to the MFAH) and Fanny Sanin. Completing the festivities was a seated dinner by City Kitchen that channeled the southern continent with Caribbean jerk lamb chops and pollo criollo, accompanied by a Carmen Miranda impersonator and dancing to the Latin band Havana NRG. FUNDS FOR GRIPPO, KUITCA AND FRIENDS The bottom line — a whopping $1.27 million — outdid many Grand Gala Balls to benefit the department and will help fund future acquisitions for the likes of the artists showcased in "Contingent Beauty." Amy Purvis Kelli Cohen Fein Martin Fein Tom Lile Mary Lile Jamie Niven Maria Bonta de la Pezuela Stephen Newton Gary Tinterow Rusty Wortham Aliyya Stude Chair George Kelly Chair Linda Kelly Mari Carmen Ramírez Alejandro Ibarra Brad Bucher Joe Savery José Luis Barragán Lorena Raull Isabel Torras Patricia Barragán Jennifer Savery Delfina Domogalla Louis Adler Kathy Goossen Marty Goossen Gail Adler Patrick Wade Natalia Ramírez Gabriel Albino Robert Ferguson Rachel Ferguson Wade Leach Karen McRae Maria Inés Sicardi Elizabeth Shamas Mary Cullen Tere Arcq Bridget Wade Teresa Serrano Miguel Angel Ríos Gabriela Segovia Leslie Bucher Patricia Kelly Leon Brener- Hellmund III Celina Hellmund Tim Singletary Joanne Houck Josh Borders Allison Laws

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