Nov 8, 2023, 7pm

Blank Forms 6th Annual Gala Honoring Charlemagne Palestine


On Wednesday, November 8th, Blank Forms presents its sixth annual benefit gala honoring the visionary artist and musician Charlemagne Palestine. Please join us for cocktails, dinner by Kreung Cambodia, a toast by Joan Jonas, and special performances by Palestine and Áine O’Dwyer. All tickets include an invitation to the gala afterparty with Douglas Sherman (The Loft, Joy).   

It is with distinct honor that Blank Forms celebrates Palestine’s incredible career, as he has been a touchstone of our program since our founding. Blank Forms was established to support and engage pathbreaking artists whose works defy disciplinary boundaries—and there are few examples as consistently confounding and inspiring as Charlemagne Palestine.

Our yearly gala raises crucial funds for new commissions, public programs, publishing and archival initiatives. For more information, please contact Corinne Daniel:


GALA COMMITTEE: Ahmed Abdullah and Monique Ngozi Nri, Richard Aldrich, Arani and Shumita Bose, Lizzi Bougatsos, Cheswatyr Foundation, Lauren Cornell, Angela Goding, Jane Hait and Justin Beal, Joan Jonas, David Joselit and Steve Incontro, Sanya Kantarovsky, Ruba Katrib, Jutta Koether, Glenn Ligon and James Hoff, Jo Miller-Gamble, Louise Neri, David Nuss and Sarah Martin-Nuss, Gina Nanni, David Norr and Abigail Goodman, Eleanor Heyman Propp, Vyjayanthi Rao and Satya Pemmaraju, Noah Robbins, Rachel Rose and Ian Cheng, Lucy Raven and Matthew Barney, Olivia Shao, Julia Trotta, Federico Vavassori, Kara Walker and Ari Marcopoulos, Jacques Louis Vidal, and Andros Zins-Browne.


GALA SPONSORS: Grimm Artisanal Ales, Heritage Wines, Jupiter Sound, Noah Robbins, NON, Rémy Cointreau, Yamaha Artist Services.


CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE’s multifaceted art, sound, and performance work has long been known for its sprawling, sacred heft, from the ethereal pentatonic pulsing of Strumming Music (Shandar, 1974) to Godbear, 1987, a massive, devotional sculpture of a three-headed teddy bear presented at documenta 8. His penchant for grandiosity has only become more pronounced as time wears on. In recent installations like the now-iconic “CCORNUUOORPHANOSSCCOPIAEE AANORPHANSSHHORNOFFPLENTYYY,” shown in 2018, at 356 Mission in Los Angeles, Palestine has taken to designing intricate arrangements of “divinities,” his affectionate term for the plush toys that he diligently collects. Beanie Babies, Mickey Mouses, Minions, and miscellaneous secondhand finds become opulent tapestries that frame monitors displaying his epochal body art videos from the ’70s. In such environments, Palestine wastes no space: he poses teddy bears as paratroopers lowered from the ceiling, hangs boats teeming with stuffed effigies, and drapes assemblages made from his trademark scarves, crowned by a pair of mischievous disco balls. In these works of the last decade, Palestine has increasingly mingled past with present, mundane with transcendent, creating a sort of sacrarium on wheels that enshrines his many curiosities, the twists and turns of his shape-shifting artistic career, and the abundance of contemporary visual culture. 

Perhaps more than any of his contemporaries in New York’s bustling downtown scene of the ’60s and ’70s, Palestine has embodied the notion of the artist as playful polymath, testing and transcending nearly every creative form imaginable in his more than six-decade career. Originally trained in Jewish sacred singing to be a cantor, he began his artistic life as a musician, studying piano and accordion, accompanying figures like Tiny Tim and Allen Ginsberg on percussion, using early synthesizers as an assistant to Alwin Nikolais, and eventually landing a long-running gig as the carillonneur at St. Thomas Episcopal in midtown. This libertine spirit of experimentation soon led to adventures in other aesthetic arenas: making kinetic light sculptures with Len Lye, devising choreographed performances with Simone Forti, and producing over a dozen visceral videotapes produced and distributed through Castelli–Sonnabend. In the ’70s, he was particularly prominent in the burgeoning loft movement, becoming well known for his sparse, intense, and exacting long-form piano concerts and his unique “strumming” playing style, manipulating the instrument’s natural overtones. 

Across all of these endeavors, Palestine has been especially attuned to spiritual matters—trance-like states and the animistic flow of intangible energies. As a college student, he studied with the poet Jerome Rothenberg, who exposed him to a wide world of cross-cultural ritual, a passion that persisted into the ’80s when Palestine founded the Ethnology Cinema Project, an outfit dedicated to preserving filmed documentation of rapidly disappearing sacred practices. His interest in totems and rites mirrors the relentlessly devotional attention he brings to his personal obsessions—stuffed animals, buoyant scarves and hats, cognac—that consistently poke their way into his ever-expanding body of installations, sculptures, performances, and archival releases. Palestine’s abiding interest in the tender boundaries between life, art, and the hidden world seems to seep into every facet of his work, always pointing to the sublimated sublime and the sneaky spirituality of everyday life.

ÁINE O’DWYER is a performer of her own works for harp, pipe organ, and voice, best known for her experimental performances and recordings that draw freely from the idioms of liturgical music, folk song, the avant-garde, and sound art. 

KREUNG CAMBODIA celebrates the joy of Khmer cuisine. Built on a history of traditional recipe sharing, with dishes steeped in generations of traditional cooking methods, Kreung uses only the best sustainably farmed and foraged local ingredients. Founder and Chef Chincharkriya Un brings her unique approach to Cambodian cuisine to the U.S. through ‘pop- ups’ and dinners in cities and spaces all over the world. 

Priority front row table for ten guests with table service, dinner and drinks

Complimentary Blank Forms All-Access memberships for two, and Friend memberships for guests

Complimentary Blank Forms tote bags and selected 2023 publications for all ten guests

Invitations to private events throughout the year

Lead Gala Sponsor listing in print and online and special name recognition on the Benefit Committee

$23,900 tax deductible

Priority table for ten guests with table service, dinner and drinks

Complimentary Blank Forms Friend memberships for all ten guests

Complimentary Blank Forms tote bag and anthology for all ten guests

Invitations to private events throughout the year

Special name recognition on the benefit committee list in print and online

$13,250 tax deductible

Table for ten guests with table service, dinner and drinks

Complimentary Blank Forms All-Access membership for two

Complimentary Blank Forms tote bags and anthology for all ten guests

Invitations to private events throughout the year

Name recognition on the benefit committee list in print and online

$8,500 tax deductible

Individual Tickets

$2,500 Honoree Ticket (includes Lead Sponsor Table benefits)

$1,500 Benecator Ticket (includes Benefactor Table benefits)

$1,000 Patron Ticket (includes Patron Table benefits)

$750 Ticket

$80/ticket not deductible

*Blank Forms is happy to invite artists and collaborators to join tables with unused seats

**For payments by check (preferred, no fees), please contact Corinne Daniel at