On October 26, the 21st annual TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art benefit dinner and contemporary art auction raised $8 million with funds benefiting amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Dallas Museum of Art.
Five hundred people attended the sold-out black-tie event co-hosted by Cindy and Howard Rachofsky at their home, The Rachofsky House, along with Lisa and John Runyon.
“Embarking into our third decade of TWO x TWO, it is clear that the enthusiasm continues to swell around supporting these two organizations. Having started TWO x TWO week with the devastating impact from tornados in our neighborhood, it was unanimous among all leadership at TWO x TWO, the Dallas Museum of Art, and amfAR that a portion of the proceeds this year be given to support the relief efforts in our immediate community. After all, TWO x TWO was created to save lives and brighten them up with the beauty of art. We will stand strong in continuing our dedication to amfAR and our passion for the DMA. Because of the extraordinary generosity of the artists and galleries who participate, TWO x TWO continues to surpass our expectations. We thank everyone who was part of this 21st edition,” said Howard Rachofsky, who along with his wife, Cindy, founded the event.
The annual black-tie gala, part of a week-long series of events, is the largest U.S. fundraiser for amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art. Since its inception, TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art has raised over $92 million in support of essential AIDS research at amfAR and for the Contemporary Art Acquisitions Fund at the Dallas Museum of Art. Presenting Sponsor for the Saturday evening gala was Nancy C. Rogers.
This year: The Gala evening was designed by Todd Fiscus of Todd Events, who transformed the 7,000-square-foot geodesic dome tent, which soars 48 feet in the center, into a dramatic Moroccan-inspired fete. Clouds of blue ombre hydrangea greeted guests, while Moroccan lanterns, candles and tiles filled the dome. Using the tent interiors and giant video board, the auction items were displayed throughout the night.
The night began with a Ruinart champagne, Tequila Casa Dragones, Moët Hennessy USA, and Belvedere cocktail reception and an art and luxury item silent auction, followed by a seated, multi-course dinner.
Cindy and Howard Rachofsky and Lisa and John Runyon thanked all sponsors, donors and attendees of the 21st annual event.
Kevin Robert Frost, Chief Executive Officer at amfAR, presented Alex Katz with amfAR’s 2019 Award of Excellence for Artistic Contributions to the Fight Against AIDS. “Suffice it to say that this is one of my favorite TWO x TWO traditions, and our honoree this evening joins a pantheon of distinguished honorees who represent the crème de la crème of contemporary American art. I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of our honored artist award than Alex Katz,” said Mr. Frost.
Dr. Anna Katherine Brodbeck, the Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, spoke about artist Alex Katz and his noted body of work. She shared, “Alex Katz is an artist that one can say without hyperbole needs no introduction; and although my task is to do just that, it is made easier by the fact that honoring him requires little justification. Katz has been steadfastly creating portraits, often of loved ones and friends, and environmentally scaled landscapes for the past 60 years. However, he clearly does not rest on his laurels. As can be seen in SOUTH LIGHT 2, the painting that we are honored to feature here tonight, Katz’s recent work evinces the mastery of a long career while still surprising in its immediacy of expression, worlds away from the punchy stylization of pop art, the movement of which he is considered by many to be a progenitor.”
At the dinner’s conclusion, Aloe Blacc entertained the crowd with a trio of his hits, including “I Need a Dollar” and “The Man.”
There were 153 works of art offered in the live and silent auctions this year as well as a number of luxury and experiential packages and an original 1969 Jean Prouvé filling station and a complete library of 426 Taschen rare books.
The live auction was conducted by Oliver Barker, Chairman, Sotheby’s Europe, Senior International Specialist, Contemporary Art. The live auction featured 7 artworks including works by Sarah Crowner, Derek Fordjour, Barry X Ball, Frank Bowling, Ross Bleckner, and Andre Butzer, as well as “South Light 2” by 2019 amfAR honoree Alex Katz.