Press Release  September 18, 2019

Heart of Gold: Contemporary Artists Donate Works to Support Aortic Charity

Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro, London, Venice

Grayson Perry, Hideously Expensive Bauble by Name Brand Artist, 2019. Glazed ceramic. 39 x 56 x 19 cm. Estimate: £18,000-25,000.

London: This October, Sotheby’s Frieze Week sale of Contemporary Art will be underscored by twelve generously donated works from leading contemporary artists and galleries, each of which will be sold for the benefit of a new national charity, the Aortic Centre Trust (A.C.T.). A.C.T.’s goal is to promote awareness of, research into and expertise in diseases of the aorta. Aortic diseases are common, frequently fatal conditions that receive little in the way of public attention. Highlights of the auction include a bespoke representation of Grayson Perry’s childhood toy, Alan Measles, atop an aortic-inspired body, alongside further donations from Rachel Howard, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Sarah Lucas and Grayson Perry.

Courtesy of the artist

Anish Kapoor, Untitled, 2018. Canvas, resin and pigment. 57 x 42 x 25 cm. Estimate: £100,000-150,000.

The sale comes ten years after Sotheby’s first collaborated with Aortic Centre Trustee and Consultant Cardiac Surgeon Dr. Jullien Gaer, and art adviser Polly Robinson Gaer, in an auction to benefit the pioneering work of Harefield Hospital. In this new collaboration, the collection of contemporary works will be sold to mark the public launch of the new Trust.

Dr. Jullien Gaer, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon and Trustee, explains: “There is a reason why those of us who work in the field refer to the aorta as the orphan organ: most people don't know where their aorta is nor what it does and yet it is the main artery of the body through which, quite literally, all of life flows. Compared to the aorta, pretty much everything else is small print. In the UK, about 5000 deaths a year are attributable to aortic diseases and this is almost certainly a significant underestimate. Many patients present too late, having to undergo complex, risky, emergency surgery and yet, detected early enough, most aortic conditions can either be prevented or managed at low risk. We are delighted to be working with these wonderful artists and Sotheby’s to raise awareness of this important problem.”

Contributing Artist Grayson Perry said: “I’ve been in awe of Jullien’s work for nearly a decade, having first had the privileged and very humbling opportunity to watch him perform open heart surgery in 2009. What Jullien and his fellow surgeons are able to accomplish is astonishing and absolutely critical, and we must do what we can to ensure the continued evolution of this work, and the work of all those at the Aortic Centre Trust who are changing lives every day.”

Courtesy of the artists and Blain|Southern, London, Berlin, New York

Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Portraits from the Bottom Up, 2013. Bronze, in six parts. Overall: 19 x 32 x 4.5 cm. Estimate: £3,000-4,000.

Oliver Barker, Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, adds: “We are proud to support the essential work of The Aortic Centre Trust, and we are grateful to the Contemporary artists and galleries who have generously contributed their works. The pieces will be offered as part of our Frieze Week Contemporary Art auctions and we’re looking forward to channeling part of the excitement and anticipation of the week into a cause which will, quite literally, save lives.”

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