40 leading artists from around the globe have pledged their support for those who are living through the challenges of cancer treatment by donating works, many created especially for the occasion, for a sale at Sotheby’s in aid of The Mimi Foundation. This ground- breaking charity was founded in 2004 by Myriam Ullens, one of the most important collectors of Contemporary Art, as a result of her own experience with cancer.
The Foundation installs and manages wellness centres within hospital wards, offering a wide variety of mental and physical therapies to help patients retain a sense of dignity and emotional strength while undergoing treatment for cancer. Proceeds from the sale – which is expected to raise in excess of £1 million – will fund the charity’s expansion of its activities in Europe, so that patients in Europe will be able to benefit from the range of therapies – everything from wigs to massages, to counselling and emotional support – which the charity currently offers to patients in Switzerland, Belgium and France.
Myriam Ullens, President of the Mimi Foundation and also a great collector and patron of the arts, said: “Cancer is a global problem which must be fought on all fronts, by all sectors of society and by any means possible. With so much support received from the artistic community, including donations from previous patients of the Mimi Foundation, the auction represents how we are all capable of doing our part in the fight against this disease.”
Artists from around the world (Europe, U.S., Russia, Africa, Middle East, Asia) have offered their support, including Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley, Andreas Gursky, Sterling Ruby, Ryan Trecartin and Michelangelo Pistoletto. The collection is led by a group of prominent Chinese artists, reflecting the deep interest of Mr and Mrs Ullens in Chinese Contemporary Art and their long- standing commitment to promoting new art from the region, including the establishment of The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. Works by artists such as Wang Du, Liu Xiaodong, Zhan Wang, Yang Shaobin, Qiu Zhijie and Rong Rong will be offered in the sale. Many of the artists donating work are the Ullens’ long-time friends and acquaintances; some even have first- hand experience of the benefits The Mimi Foundation offers.
Alex Branczik, Head of Sotheby’s London Contemporary Art Department, said: “The international roll call of artists who have contributed works to this sale is an apt reflection both of the importance and universality of the cause, and also of the exceptional role Myriam and Guy Ullens have played for so long now as patrons and promoters of the best in Contemporary art, most famously in China, but also far beyond.”
The majority of the works to be sold will be exhibited together in Sotheby’s galleries from 12th October in a special exhibition curated by Jérôme Sans. Eight will then be sold at an exclusive gala dinner at Sotheby’s on 16th October, while the remaining works will be offered in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Auction on Friday 18th October.
The Mimi Foundation was founded in 2004 by Baroness Myriam Ullens, as a result of her own experience with cancer. The charity’s mission is to improve the quality of life of people affected by cancer, more specifically during the entire period of their chemotherapy/ radiotherapy treatment. The Foundation installs and manages wellness centres within hospital wards, offering a wide variety of mental and physical therapies to help patients fight the disease on all fronts. Therapists work alongside a patient’s doctor to help devise a wellness plan. All treatments are completely free. The centres themselves are designed to offer a haven within the hospital, an escape from the challenges of daily life and the opportunity to meet other patients and seek advice.
Mimi Foundation Exhibition & Auction, Sotheby’s New Bond Street, W1A 2AA
12-17 October: Exhibition Preview 16 October: Gala Dinner and Auction 18 October: Contemporary Art Day Auction
Photo: Tracey Emin, The Kiss Was Beautiful, est: £30,000-40,000