Aperture Celebrates Family at the 2018 Gala

On October 30, we honored a group of five outstanding artists and philanthropists whose work has expanded our vision of family.

On October 30, Aperture celebrated the family—the human family and the Aperture family—by honoring five outstanding artists and philanthropists at the foundation’s annual gala: Agnes Gund, Catherine Gund, Catherine Opie, Hank Willis Thomas, and Dr. Deborah Willis. Centered around the launch of Aperture magazine’s winter 2018 issue, “Family,” the Aperture Gala brought together leading artists, curators, writers, and public figures including Carrie Mae Weems, Julie Mehretu, Rujeko Hockley, David Dechman, Alvin Hall, Sarah Lewis, Marilyn Minter, Chelsea Clinton, Nan Goldin, Mickalene Thomas, Lisa Rosenblum, Kathy Ryan, Elliot Erwitt, Inez & Vinoodh, Ethan James Green, Quentin Bajac, Liz Swig, and Alice Walton. “We could not have a group that better exemplifies what Aperture cares about and stands for,” Cathy Kaplan, Aperture’s board of trustees chair, said. “Community, great art, great writing, and great philanthropy.”

Throughout the evening, special guests gave moving tributes to each of the honorees. Marilyn Minter spoke of Catherine Opie’s pathbreaking photographs about queer life in the U.S. Opie documented her community with dignity, Minter said. “Her portraits stare right back at you. Her portraits become the royal family.” Sarah Elizabeth Lewis honored philanthropist Agnes Gund and her daughter, the filmmaker and activist Catherine Gund. “When others relax, you press onwards,” Lewis said. “When others think of personal gain, you consider what good can come for all of us.”

Lewis joined the artist Carrie Mae Weems in praising the scholar and photographer Deborah Willis and her son, the artist Hank Willis Thomas. “You have been the world of insight, information, leading us out of darkness into light. Always asking questions that few others dare to ask,” Weems said.

Accepting her tribute, Catherine Gund spoke on behalf of her mother. “For us, Aperture Foundation fills a unique place in our little, and very big world,” she said. “And it’s such a crazy time. One of my thoughts to live by comes from Toni Morrison, who said that at some point in life, the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even to remember it. It is enough. And I feel like until that time comes, we have Aperture.”

The evening ended to the classic “We Are Family” performed by Kathy Sledge, of Sister Sledge, joined by members of New York’s legendary House of Xtravaganza.

Leading up to the gala, patrons enjoyed a weekend full of studio visits, gallery talks, and collection tours with Chloe Dewe Mathews, Sara Cwynar, Lehmann Mapuin, and Bernard Lumpkin and Carmine Boccuzzi. On the evening of the gala, Robbie Gordy of Christie’s auctioned works by Todd Hido, Dawoud Bey, Gordon Parks, Hank Willis Thomas, and Richard Mosse. For the second year in a row, Aperture partnered with Magnum on the Square Print Sale, presenting 6-by-6-inch prints by artists such as Nan Goldin, Bruce Davidson, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Kwame Brathwaite, and Mary Ellen Mark. The prints are available for sale online through Friday, November 2, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. EST.

Aperture’s endeavors are made possible with contributions from gala patrons and Aperture trustees and Members. Click here to donate to Aperture’s Annual Fund or join our community as an Aperture Member.

The 2018 Aperture Gala and Auction was made
possible with the generous support of:

Adobe, Christie’s, and Ingram Content Group


Sir Elton John
Judy and Leonard Lauder
Nion McEvoy
Jessica Nagle

Leader Committee
David Dechman and Michel Mercure
Agnes Gund
Elizabeth* and William Kahane
Hemant Kanakia* and Sonalde Desai
Cathy M. Kaplan* and Renwick D. Martin
Judy and Leonard Lauder
Anne Stark Locher* and Kurt Locher
Nion McEvoy*
Jessica Nagle* and Roland Hartley-Urquhart
Lisa Rosenblum
Thomas R. Schiff*

Gala Committee
Malú Alvarez
Anonymous (2)
Peter Barbur* and Tim Doody
Elyse and Lawrence B. Benenson
Dawoud Bey*
Allan Chapin* and Anna Rachminov
Sb Cooper* and R. L. Besson
Fine Art Frameworks
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Elaine Goldman* and John Benis
Mrs. John Gutfreund
Hermès of Paris
Darius Himes, Christie’s
Jeff Hirsch, Foto Care
Michael Hoeh*
Inez and Vinoodh
Jack Shainman Gallery
Darlene Kaplan and Steve Zuckerman
Deana Lawson
Lehmann Maupin and Regen Projects
Susana Torruella Leval and Hon. Pierre Leval
Marina and Andrew* Lewin
Patrick McMullan
Sarah Anne McNear*
Helen Nitkin* and Joel Rosenkranz
Philip C. Ollila, Ingram Content Group
Missy* and Jim O’Shaughnessy
Lisa S. Pritzker
The Rosenstiel Foundation
Sheri Sandler and Mark Schneider
Melissa Schiff Soros
Severn Taylor* and Scott Switzer
Willard Taylor* and Virginia Davies
Alice L. Walton
Whit Williams

*Aperture trustee