The Mimi Foundation Auction, a series of charity fundraising events planned in conjunction with Frieze Week in London, launched at a star-studded gala dinner and evening auction on October 16th at Sotheby’s. The auction raised over £1,350,000 for the cancer charity founded by Myriam Ullens. The Mimi Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life of cancer patients during their treatment and road to recovery through completely free therapies at wellness centers within hospitals.
At the auction, the first item was a gold piece of jewelry by Ugo Rondinone, which tripled its original estimate as prices were pushed higher and higher in honor of the cause. Tracey Emin’s neon The Kiss was Beautiful more than doubled its estimate to raise £122,500, and a specially-created piece by Sterling Ruby inspired a bidding war which pushed the price over £185,000. The final item of the night was two weeks on The Red Dragon, the 52m long private yacht belonging to Mr. and Mr. Ullens, which raised an additional £95,000.
The highest bid of the night was for Yan Pei-Ming’s Portrait of HRH The Prince of Wales, the first ever portrait of Prince Charles by a Chinese artist. The painting sold for £302,500 and the funds will be split between the Mimi Foundation and The Prince’s Drawing School.
At the pre-auction gala dinner, Guy and Miriam Ullens announced that the winning bidders for each item were invited to attend a private dinner at Windsor Castle in the presence of HRH Prince of Wales. The evening’s attendees included participating artists—who introduced their works—leading cultural figures, collectors, and gallerists. Among those in attendance were Prince Pierre d’Arenberg, Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi, Nicolai Frahm, Xavier Hufkens, Bruno Wang, Jimmy Lahoud, John Pawson, and Phil Tinari, Director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing.
The full list of auctioned art works:
Lot 1. Ugo Rondinone, Wednesday (ed 216), price achieved £25,000
Lot 2. Tracey Emin, The Kiss Was Beautiful, price achieved £122,500
Lot 3. Sterling Ruby, BC (4442), price achieved £225,400
Lot 4. Marc Quinn, Pupil Portrait, price achieved £194,500
Lot 5. Michelangelo Pistoletto, Vortice-Dittico, price achieved £158,500
Lot 6. Zhan Wang, Artificial Rock # 146, price achieved £164,500
Lot 7. Farhad Moshiri, Tenderness, price achieved £98,500
Lot 8. Yan Pei Ming, Portrait of HRH The Prince of Wales, price achieved £302,500