ARTrageous 2021: Collections from the Couch

March 22, 2021Events

Partners in Art (PIA) is proud to present its biennial fundraising gala ARTrageous: Collections from the Couch.

Buy tickets here.

This year has been a devastating year for so many, and we want to come together virtually to celebrate our resilient, creative, and diverse Canadian art community: artists, arts organizations, and institutions. By joining PIA’s ARTrageous evening you will be doing just this!

The ARTrageous Committee, chaired by Heather Gotlieb, invites you to join us for an ARTrageous night in support of PIA’s project development initiatives, which, since inception, have contributed over $5 million to artists and arts institutions to further excellence in contemporary Canadian arts.

Buy your tickets today! Ticket holders will receive an exclusive invitation to a curated tour of three world-class, contemporary private art collections including The Agnes Gund Collection (New York), The Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg Collection (Silicon Valley), and The Rennie Collection (Vancouver).

Our event will be MC’d by long-time PIA member Joanie Sternthal who will be joined by guest curator, Gaëtane Verna, Director of the Power Plant Gallery, as well as the Collectors who will offer personal insights on how they built their extraordinary collections.

Pour a drink, grab a snack, and join us from the comforts of your couch in celebrating the vibrancy of contemporary art in support of Partners in Art and its projects. It’s going to be ARTrageous!

Ticket Options + Add-Ons

You can buy tickets via PIA’s Eventbrite.

General Ticket – $100:  This ticket includes access to the ARTrageous virtual gala. When purchasing general tickets you can also purchase add-ons from the options below. Pick-up locations will be posted shortly.

Friends of PIA Ticket – $1000: This ticket includes access to the ARTrageous virtual gala, AND both a Bar Chef Cocktail Box and a Snack Box. Delivery is included, within the GTA only. A PIA representative will reach out to confirm your cocktail selection (see choices while checking out via Eventbrite).


BAR CHEF Deluxe Cocktail Box: Choose from two delicious curated options. Cocktails for 2!

SNACK BOX: Enjoy a curated selection of snacks to enjoy while viewing the collections. Snack box for 2!

Early bird ticket purchasers will be entered to win one of two “Golden Ticket” prizes. Valued at $1000, these prize packages include designer beach bags stuffed with summer essentials: beach towels, curated wine selections, skin products from Holt Renfrew, a quintessential “beach read” book, and much more! The first 100 ticket buyers are automatically entered in the contest. Please note one ticket = one entry. Winners will be announced during the gala!

Please note: Each ticket admits one household (or two people) to the virtual event. We ask that you kindly purchase additional tickets if you will be hosting a pandemic-friendly viewing party. Tickets are non-refundable.


Event date: May 19, 2021, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

An event link will be mailed to you prior to the event.

About the Collections

Agnus Gund / The Agnus Gund Collection

Agnes Gund has said she believes that art “is a right, not a privilege,” and this belief has been the driving force behind her philanthropic endeavors in the art world for over four decades. Serving on the board of numerous museums and foundations, Gund typically gives between $6 million and $7 million a year through her A G Foundation, which has also donated hundreds of works to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and other museums. On top of these generous contributions, she has made it possible for 30,000 students, 90 percent of whom are under-privileged, to receive over 45,000 hours of art education a year through Studio in a School, a nonprofit organization which she founded in 1977. Her personal collection of over 2,000 works spans from 1940 to the present and includes pieces by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, John Baldessari, and many more. (A visit to her New York City apartment is tantamount to a visit to a modern art museum.) Gund’s interest in contemporary art is compounded by her interest in contemporary artists themselves, many of whom she knows personally. Ellsworth Kelly once said of Gund, “Everyone falls in love with her. You can tell her I’m in love with her.” In 2017, Gund sold a $150 million Lichtenstein painting from her collection to start the Art for Justice Fund, which will give grants to organizations working on criminal justice reform. – ArtNews

Bob Rennie / The Rennie Collection

Bob Rennie, the Vancouver-based real estate businessman, may be best known locally as the “condo king,” though he has also achieved royalty status in the Canadian contemporary art scene. The first work he ever purchased was a Norman Rockwell print that he got in 1974 for $375 when he was 18 years old; it remains the most treasured piece in his holdings. Today, the Rennie Collection at his private museum, the Wing Sang, is one of the largest contemporary-art collections in the country, with roughly 2,100 works by some 370 artists, including John Baldessari, Mike Kelley, Christopher Wool, and others. Among the most expensive works in his collection is Kerry James Marshall’s Untitled (Red, Black, Green), 2011–12, which is estimated to be worth some $26 million.

And that is not the only prized work by Marshall that he is in his collection. Rennie waited ten years to acquire Garden Party, a 2003 painting by Marshall, according to Bloomberg. Every time he saw the artist, he would mention the painting—and when he was finally able to purchase the work, the dealer Jack Shainman sold it to him at a 50-percent discount because he had waited so patiently.

Rennie’s home has undergone significant alterations to accommodate his ever-growing holdings. After his daughter, Kate, moved out after graduating from college, he converted her bedroom into an installation of Lara Favaretto’s Tutti giu per terra (2004). “The built-in millwork, every gap, every air vent, absolutely everything had to be perfectly drywalled off so that confetti can fly freely without getting stuck in seams or crevices,” he told ARTnews. “Sealing off the vents caused havoc with our air system. The door to the room was replaced by a single sheet of floor to ceiling plexiglass that was sealed in place.” In 2019, Rennie bought two Alice Neel works—Nazis Murder Jews (1936) and Childbirth (1939)—and pieces from LaToya Ruby Frazier’s photographic series “The Notion of Family” (2001–14). Rennie’s collection is rapidly growing—and he’s not interested in selling. “The best investment I can make is to keep art,” Rennie told Bloomberg Business in 2015. – ArtNews

The Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg Collection

An ARTnews Top 200 Collector, Shah has been an important player in museum philanthropy, serving as a member of the accessions committee at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the North American acquisitions committee at Tate Modern in London. She was appointed as a trustee of SFMOMA in May 2018 and a trustee of the Tate Americas Foundation in spring 2018. Avid collectors since 2008, the collection is entirely focused on women artists or artists of color. Works by four women abstract painters—Amy Sillman, Charline Von Heyl, Jacqueline Humphries, and Laura Owens—form the “crux” of her collection, in which works by Joan Mitchell, Mark Bradford, Charles Gaines and Sam Gilliam also figure prominently. In 2019, Shah and her husband Gaurav Garg acquired an untitled painting by Mitchell from 1992 (the year of the artist’s death). Shah is a “die-hard fan” of the market-making Abstract-Expressionist whose auction record was set in May 2018, when Blueberry (1969) sold for $16.6 million at Christie’s New York.

As an art activist, she has also created a series of talks, called “Artists on the Future,” at Stanford University that focuses on the intersection of art and sociopolitical issues and have included two-person conversations between artist Lorna Simpson and Ford Foundation president Darren Walker and curator Kimberly Drew and artist Lynda Benglis.

Above Image (first): Agnus Gund in her home.

Above Image (second): Bob Rennie stands on the rooftop of the rennie Collection, in front of an installation by Martin Creed. Courtesy rennie Collection.