A gala auction leaps into arty action

Roll up, roll up to a fundraising art auction and gala dinner

Image: Image courtesy of the artist and Hales Gallery. Photograph by Modern Activity

If you’d like your leap-year celebrations to be aesthetically pleasing and philanthropic as well as fun, fun, fun, then consider attending the circus-themed Contemporary Art Society Auction Gala on February 29. Entitled Leap! and held in association with celebrated jewellery house Boucheron, it promises to be quite a spectacle.


Partygoers will have the opportunity to identify the art masters of the future and to purchase works by creatives who may not yet be well known outside the art world, but are emerging stars. Guests will also be able to mingle with artists and other high-profile guests (who last year included Bryan Ferry, Bob Geldof, Jerry Hall, Mark Wallinger, Bianca Jagger, Dinos Chapman, Franck Petitgas and Stuart Rose) at the champagne reception and dinner. It’s all taking place against the backdrop of the intriguing Farmiloe Building in Clerkenwell, London, which is often used as a film location (The Dark Knight, Sherlock Holmes and The Da Vinci Code).


Through its fundraising, the Contemporary Art Society supports and develops public collections of contemporary art in the UK by commissioning and purchasing new works for a network of public collections (aka its Member Museums and Galleries). It also solicits gifts of works for these collections. Throughout its 102-year history, it has been both prescient and influential, handing museums and galleries more than 8,000 pieces, including the first Picasso in the Tate’s collection in 1933, and the first Damien Hirst in 1992. So there is no doubt that the 44 new and exclusive works of art that the Society has commissioned especially for the gala auction will be hotly contested. Keep an eye out for pieces by Paula Rego, Jim Lambie, Paul Noble, Elizabeth Price and Bob and Roberta Smith (whose appropriately entitled Art is Everywhere is pictured).