(Los Angeles, November 3, 2019)—The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) hosted its ninth annual Art+Film Gala on Saturday, November 2, 2019, honoring artist Betye Saar and filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón. Co-chaired by LACMA trustee Eva Chow and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, the evening brought together more than 800 distinguished guests from the art, film, fashion, and entertainment industries, among others. This year’s gala raised more than $4.6 million, with proceeds supporting LACMA’s film initiatives and future exhibitions, acquisitions, and programming. The 2019 Art+Film Gala was made possible through Gucci’s longstanding and generous partnership. Additional support for the gala was provided by Audi.
Eva Chow, co-chair of the Art+Film Gala, said, “I’m so happy that we have outdone ourselves again with the most successful Art+Film Gala yet. It was such a joy to celebrate Betye Saar and Alfonso Cuarón’s incredible creativity and passion, while supporting LACMA’s art and film initiatives. I couldn’t be more grateful to Alessandro Michele, Marco Bizzarri, and everyone at Gucci—our invaluable partner since the first Art+Film Gala—and to Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals for making this evening one to remember.”
“I’m deeply grateful to our returning co-chairs Eva Chow and Leonardo DiCaprio for helping us set another Art+Film Gala record,” said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director. “We honored two incredibly powerful artistic voices this year. Betye Saar has helped define the genre of Assemblage art for nearly seven decades, and recognition of her as one of the most important and influential artists working today is long overdue. Alfonso Cuarón, one of the great storytellers of our
time, is able to bring deep humanity to any story he chooses to portray, whether it takes place in the world of wizarding, or outer space, or the Mexico City of his own adolescence.”
The Art+Film Gala began with red-carpet arrivals of art world, music, entertainment luminaries, fashion icons, and renowned artists at LACMA’s Wilshire Boulevard entrance. Guests then moved through the museum’s Smidt Welcome Plaza to a cocktail reception on the museum’s Zev Yaroslavsky Plaza. Projected on the walls were motifs inspired by the works of Betye Saar and Alfonso Curarón. After cocktails, guests proceeded to the Art+Film dinner pavilion overlooking Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass (2012), where they were seated for a special dinner prepared by Joachim Splichal of Patina Restaurant Group.
Michael Govan and Eva Chow welcomed the crowd. Further into the evening, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award-winner John Legend gave a tribute in Saar’s honor and filmmaker Christine Turner contributed a short film about the artist. Shortly thereafter, Ted Sarandos presented a tribute to Alfonso Cuarón and the audience enjoyed a montage of the director’s films. Actor and musician Donald Glover introduced the honoree.
Following the evening’s dinner program, Will Ferrell invited guests to an outdoor performance. Billie Eilish then introduced Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals who powered through hits including “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance,” “Come Down,” “Tints,” and “Am I Wrong,” following a trumpet intro by band member Maurice “MoBetta” Brown. The set concluded with an encore of “Jet Black.”
Luminaries from the art world attending the 2019 Art+Film Gala included Stephanie Barron, Sanford Biggers, Tim Blum, Louise Bonnet, Mark Bradford, Fritz Chesnut, George Davis, Tacita Dean, Fairfax Dorn, Adrienne Edwards, Carol S. Eliel, Charles Gaines, Marc Glimcher, Thelma Golden, Alexandra Grant, Jennifer Guidi, Lauren Halsey, Thomas Houseago, Luchita Hurtado, Alex Israel, Naima Keith, Christine Y. Kim, Bettina Korek, Barbara Kruger, Shio Kusaka, Eugenio López, Julie Mehretu, Rodney McMillian, Catherine Opie, Almine Rech Picasso, Pilar Tompkins Rivas, Julie Roberts and Bennett Roberts, Nancy Rubins, Kristin Sakoda, Britt Salvesen, Alison Saar, 2019 Art+Film Gala honoree Betye Saar, Lezley Saar, Shinique Smith, Adam Silverman, Tavares Strachan, Claire Tabouret, Tatiana Trouvé, Mary Weatherford, and Jonas Wood.
The entertainment, fashion, and business worlds were represented by this year’s gala performer Anderson .Paak, gala co-chair Eva Chow, 2019 Art+Film Gala honoree
Alfonso Cuarón, gala co-chair Leonardo DiCaprio, and Gucci Creative Director and gala host committee chair Alessandro Michele, Noah Baumbach, Marco Bizzarri, Beck, Naomi Campbell, Nick Cave, Gia Coppola, Willem Dafoe, Guillermo del Toro, Ava DuVernay, Billie Eilish, Will Ferrell, Bob Iger, James Goldstein, George Hamilton, Jon Hamm, Bong Joon Ho, Dawn Hudson, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Liberty Ross and Jimmy Iovine, Lee Jung-jae, Regina King, Jared Leto, Sienna Miller, Vivi Nevo, Kelly and Jamie Patricof, Keanu Reeves, Elizabeth Segerstrom, Zoe Saldana, Ted Sarandos, Molly Shannon, Molly Sims, Amandla Stenberg, Tyler the Creator, Lucy Walker, Christoph Waltz, Irwin Winkler, and Angela Robinson Witherspoon.
LACMA trustees in attendance included Ambassador Nicole Avant, Willow Bay, Ambassador Colleen Bell, Allison Berg, Troy Carter, Ann Colgin, Janet Crown, Kelly Day, Viveca Paulin-Ferrell, Victoria Jackson, Suzanne Kayne, Robert A. Kotick, Florence Sloan, Wendy Stark Morrisey, Geoff Palmer, Janet Dreisen Rappaport, Carter Reum, Lynda Resnick, Robbie Robinson, Steve Tisch, and Elaine Wynn. Other notable guests included Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu.
Wearing Gucci to the event were 2019 Art+Film Gala honoree Betye Saar, 2019 Art+Film Gala honoree Alfonso Cuarón, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Trevor Andrew, Noah Baumbach, Beck and Channing Hansen, Sanford Biggers, Earl Cave, Nick Cave, Susie Cave, Asia Chow, Eva Chow, Gia Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Laura Dern, Ava DuVernay, Billie Eilish, Cynthia Erivo, FINNEAS (Finneas O’Connell), David Furnish, Greta Gerwig, Jacqui Getty, Michael Govan and Katherine Ross, Donald Glover, Lee Jung-jae, Lindsey Jordan (Snail Mail), Regina King, Brie Larson, KiKi Layne, John Legend, Jared Leto, Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef, Sienna Miller, Salma Hayek Pinault, DJ Rainey Qualley, Zoe Saldana, Santigold, Elisa Sednaoui Dellal, Yara Shahidi, Daniela Sorrentino and Paolo Sorrentino, Amandla Stenberg, Tyler the Creator, Suki Waterhouse, and Lucas Zwirner.
Wines generously provided by JNSQ and JUSTIN. Champagne by Laurent-Perrier. Additional beverages by FIJI Water and POM Wonderful.
One of the most important artists of her generation, Betye Saar (b.1926) played a seminal role in the development of Assemblage art. Since the 1960s, her work has reflected on African American identity, spirituality, gender, and the connectedness
between different cultures. Saar received her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1949, with graduate studies at California State University at Long Beach, the University of Southern California, and California State University at Northridge. She has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees by Cornish College of the Arts; California College of Arts and Crafts; California Institute of the Arts; Massachusetts College of Art and Design; Otis College of Art & Design; and San Francisco Art Institute. Saar's work is included in the permanent collections of more than 80 museums, including—in addition to LACMA—The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Currently exhibitions on view include Betye Saar: Call and Response, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (September 22, 2019–April 5, 2020) travels to The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, and Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; and Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, (October 21, 2019–January 4, 2020).
Alfonso Cuarón (b. 1961) is a four-time Academy Award winner who has written and directed a wide range of acclaimed films. Cuarón made his feature film directorial debut in 1991 with Sólo Con Du Pareja (Live in the Time of Hysteria) which was the biggest box office hit in Mexico in 1992. Cuarón soon after made his American feature film debut with the critically acclaimed motion picture adaptation of the beloved children’s book A Little Princess (1995), which was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Art Direction. That was followed by Great Expectations (1998), a contemporary adaptation of Charles Dickens’s classic novel. With his next feature, Cuarón returned to Mexico to direct a Spanish-speaking cast in the funny, provocative, and controversial road comedy Y Tu Mamá También (2003), for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and BAFTA nominations for Best Foreign Film and Best Original Screenplay. That same year, Cuarón also directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2003), the third film in the most successful motion picture franchise of all time, based on the best-selling books by author J.K. Rowling. Cuarón’s next project, Children of Men, was one of the most talked about films of 2006, earning two Academy Award nominations for Cuarón for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing. Cuarón then won two Academy Awards for directing, producing, and editing Gravity (2013), which he also co-wrote with his son Jonás. In recent years, Cuarón executive produced the documentary This Changes Everything (2015), directed by
Avi Lewis, which explores the impact of economic models on climate change; and produced Desierto (2016), written and directed by Jonás, which was released in 2016 by STX Entertainment. Most recently, Cuarón’s Roma (2018) received two Academy Awards for directing and cinematography. The film also won the award for Best Foreign Language.
Born Brandon Paak Anderson in Oxnard, California, .Paak honed his musical chops playing drums in his church band as a teen. While glimpses of his extraordinary talent were evident in his first incarnation as Breezy Lovejoy, it was fully realized in his transformation into Anderson .Paak, with his debut album Venice (2014) and a stellar six-song run on Dr. Dre’s certified Gold COMPTON album that led to the release of his acclaimed sophomore release, Malibu (2016). In 2016, .Paak won the Grulke Prize at South by Southwest, the Soul Train Music Award’s Best New Artist, and Album of the Year at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards in London. Later in 2016, as part of the duo NxWorries with collaborator/producer Knxwledge, came the release of the album Yes Lawd!, which reached #3 on Billboard’s Top R&B/HipHop chart. In 2017, he established the nonprofit organization .Paak House, committed to creating safe havens for the next generation and cultivating alliances with like-minded nonprofits for a greater united impact. .Paak’s third album Oxnard (2018) marked a career high for him, debuting as the #1 Independent Album in the Country according to Billboard. Following the album’s release, .Paak played a soldout tour in both the U.S. and Europe. .Paak won his first Grammy for Best Rap Performance in 2019. More recently .Paak released his newest album Ventura in April 2019. His Best Teef in the Game tour to support the album was sold out and included his first Madison Square Garden headline show and 24 other stops across the US and Canada.
The Art+Film Gala supports LACMA’s ongoing initiative to make film more central to the museum’s curatorial programming. Since 2011, LACMA has presented 18 exhibitions exploring the intersection of Art+Film featuring American auteurs like Tim Burton and Stanley Kubrick, Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa, French New Wave icon Agnès Varda, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, and film and video works by contemporary African artists— perspective and the diversity of Los Angeles in the museum’s approach to Art+Film.