At the end of a long day of financing meetings, do you yearn to sit at your lathe for hours and sculpt? If so, you’ll fit right into the “Art of an Asset Class” exhibition taking place on September 10 at Mall Galleries in London.The show is being organized by London-based Altius Associates — an investment adviser to some very big organizations, including Apax Partners Worldwide and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System — and will feature pieces commission exclusively from the closeted artists within the world of private equity. Think paintings, sculptures, photographs, jewelry and more. Pretty much anything goes, within reason. (Just because Matthew Barney can turn petroleum jelly and whale vomit into “art” doesn’t mean that anyone else should.) Individually donated prizes like exotic trips will also be auctioned off.
All proceeds from ticket and auction sales will go to the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation; Shelter, the UK-based housing and homelessness charity; and Badge of Honor Memorial Foundation, the US-based charity that supports the families of officers killed in the line of duty.
The show is actually the second of its kind being hosted by Altius, which held its inaugural exhibition in 2005 at Christie’s of London, where 112 pieces including nearly 10 works from CalSTRS staff were shown, heavyweights from Permira and elsewhere big up auction prizes, and £25,000 was raised for two charitable organizations.
Because Altius is acutely aware of the competitive nature of the “artists” it is welcoming to its exhibition and that the quality of their work will vary, attendees won’t be picking and choosing what to take home; rather they’ll be allocated a random number that will match a piece that’s theirs at night’s end if they’d like it.