Christie's Introduces Art Forum During Sale
Christie's have announced the next edition of their 'Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art' sale, to be held on the 23 and 24 October 2012. The sale will be accompanied for the first time by the Christie's Art Forum on 22 October from 3.30pm - 5.30pm, featuring a gallery tour showing the highlights of the auctions to be held, followed by a discussion on the emergence, growth and future of modern and contemporary art in the Middle East. The discussion will be led by the distinguished scholar Taufiq Rahim and the panel will include representatives from the art world in the Middle East and a leading Emirati artist.
Christie's are following the successful Part I and Part II format from previous sales, and Part I of the sale on 23 October includes two masterpieces by the father of modern Egyptian painting, Mahmoud Saïd (1897-1964). Both of his works have been consigned for sale from a prestigious private Egyptian collection in Egypt, closely related to the artist's family, and they have never appeared at an auction before. 'El Zar' has never been exhibited to the public whilst 'Pêcheurs à Rosette' was last on public display in the Alexandria retrospective of 1964, the year of the artist's death.
Michael Jeha, Managing Director of Christie‟s Middle East and specialist in charge of the sale, said: "'Pêcheurs à Rosette' is one of very few Saïd's masterpieces left in private hands and we are honoured to have been entrusted with it along with 'El Zar' as the highlights of our October sale. Their sale follows the Christie's auction in Dubai in 2010 of Saïd's 'The Whirling Dervishes' (1929) which sold for a world record breaking $2.4 million. 'Pêcheurs à Rosette' is the largest work ever to have appeared at auction by Saïd, and is equal in quality to 'The Whirling Dervishes'."
'Pêcheurs à Rosette' is one of the artist's most comprehensive works, showing a richly detailed Egyptian scene beside the Nile with fishermen unloading their catch, a perfect expression of national Egyptian identity. Painted in 1941, it is estimated at $400,000-600,000. 'El Zar' is a rediscovered preparatory oil painting for a larger well-known composition from the collections of the Museum of Modern Art of Cairo, depicting a dancing group and musicians, performing a religious ritual. Loaded with spirituality and mystery, the work is valued at $150,000-200,000.
'El Zar' is an outstanding preparatory oil sketch for a larger composition bearing the same title, the location of which is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in Cairo. Just like the Flemish Baroque painter Peter-Paul Rubens whom he admired, Saïd produced 'Modelli' or finished oil sketches for some of his large scale and most challenging compositions. The present 'Modello' for 'El Zar' most probably dates from the same year of the final painting, 1939, estimated value of $150,000-200,000.
For Part II of the sale on 24 October, six lots have been kindly donated on behalf of Caspian Arts Foundation, a new educational initiative that supports art students from the region to enable them to study abroad, by a group of artists and their galleries. Alongside, a further 7 works donated by the Islamic Arts Museum in Malaysia, the Farjam Collection and HRH Princess Wijdan M. Al-Hashemi of Jordan, will be sold to raise funds for The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, founded in London in 2004 by HRH The Prince of Wales to teach practical skills of the traditional arts and crafts.
Michael Jeha, Managing Director of Christie’s Middle East, commented. "We take our responsibilities as market leader seriously and are delighted to be able to provide an international platform to profile these worthy charities and to help them in their efforts to broaden educational opportunities for the next generation of artists and craftsmen and women from the region. Since we first began working in the Middle East in 2005, we have helped to raise more than $20 million for charitable causes and are proud to continue this tradition in our October sales."
Christie’s Auction of 'Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art', sponsored by Zurich, takes place at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 23 and 24, 2012.
Viewing is open to the public at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel from 2pm on Sunday 21 October.
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