Christie's Middle East Continues to Develop Contemporary Art in the Region
Over 100 contemporary artists have been given an international platform for their works for the first time through Christie’s sales in Dubai over the last year. This figure demonstrates Christie’s continued commitment to supporting the next generation of artists from the region, particularly since the introduction in October last year of the Part II sales. A further indication of the continued success for the company in the region is the confirmation that clients introduced to buying at auction through the Dubai sales are increasingly transacting in the other international sales centres around the world.
Michael Jeha, Managing Director of Christie’s Middle East, commented: “We are very proud to be able to use our global reach to introduce the work of young artists to clients both in the region and further afield. At next week’s auctions there will be 16 new artists whose work will be offered at international auction for the first time. While global interest in this category continues to grow, we are also seeing Christie’s activities in the Middle East offering a gateway to the international art market, with clients from Dubai participating in our international sales across many categories. For every $1 that our clients are spending in Dubai, we are seeing them go on to spend $15 in our salerooms around the world.”
Mr. Jeha made this announcement at the opening of the public viewing for the October sales at the Emirates Towers Hotel. Held in April and October since 2006, this season’s sales on Tuesday and Wednesday evening, 23 and 24 October 2012, are highlighted by two masterpieces by the father of modern Egyptian painting, Mahmoud Saïd (1897-1964). Both works have been consigned for sale from a prestigious private Egyptian collection in Egypt, closely related to the artist’s family. They have never appeared at auction before - El Zar has never been exhibited to the public whilst Pécheurs à Rosette was last on public display in the Alexandria retrospective of 1964, the year of the artist’s death.
Through their various charitable activities, including works sold at the Dubai auctions, Christie’s in the Middle East has helped to raise more than $20 million for charity in the region since 2005 and in this year’s part II sale, two charities have contributed significant works to be sold for their benefit. 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.
Jeremy Baggott, Head of Zurich Private Clients in the Middle East, who sponsor Christie’s Dubai sales, said: “Christie’s bi-annual Dubai sales are now firmly established as a major highlight of the region’s art calendar. For Zurich, each sale is an opportunity to talk to collectors and raise awareness of the need to protect their investments against theft and accidental damage, and, perhaps, prevent the loss from happening in the first place. Moreover, with each passing sale, we expect the art insurance sector to grow as collectors come to realise how cost-effective and straightforward this protection can be relative to the cost of replacing or repairing a piece of art.”