Early Dubai highlights include masterpieces by Said, Moshiti, Abboud, and Moudarres
Important works by some of the masters of modern Middle Eastern art will be among the early highlights of this Fall’s Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art sale at Christie’s in Dubai on October, 26th & 27th, 2011. The sale will be held at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai with pre-sale viewing from the Sunday prior to the sale.
Hala Khayat, specialist in charge of the sale, said: “We already have an impressive line-up of consignments and this is a positive indication for a strong sale offering many of the masters of modern art alongside contemporary works from the most cutting-edge artists.”
The sale will be led by two masterpieces by the father of Egyptian art, Mahmoud Said (1897-1964). Petite fille d’Assiout painted in 1945 (see above) shows a young maid servant her defiant expression confronting the viewer. The Nile can be seen beyond with two feluccas sailing by. In contrast to Said’s better known society portraits, here he has been able to convey the spirit and beauty of this young woman, without adhering to convention. It is estimated at $250,000-300,000 / AED 918,000-1,100,000. The second picture, a portrait of an old man, Hag Ali, painted in 1924, carries the same estimate and has been well documented in books and catalogues about the artist’s work.
Farhad Moshiri (Iranian, b. 1963) is represented by three contrasting works, the first one is an early collage showing the artist experimenting with composition and texture. Composition with Car from 1998 combines images of a car, pistol, kilim carpet and tiles using wood, textiles and movie posters (shown here). The work, which had been forgotten about and kept in storage at the consignor’s house, is estimated at $150,000-200,000 / AED 551,000-734,000. Another work shows the artist experimenting with numbers by taking a single number and illustrating it on the canvas in its most primitive form (estimate: $100,000-150,000 / AED 367,000-551,000), and the edges defined by his signature ‘crackling’ technique which is perfected in the third work. From the Jar series and painted in 2001, the third piece in the sale is distinctive as it is painted in uncharacteristic monochrome, a step away from the vivid colours and jewel-like textures found in other works, (estimate: $100,000-150,000 / AED 367,000-551,000. The younger generation of Iranian artists are represented by an image of a beautiful woman painted by Daryoush Gharahzad (b. 1976), wearing large sunglasses, a trendy bag, headscarf and holding her mobile phone (estimate: $6,000-8,000 / AED 22,000-29,000).
Untitled (Three Figures) by Syrian artist Fateh Moudarres (1922-1999) was painted in 1922. In vivid reds the distinctive column of figures and faces are arranged in columns on top of one another, their identities suppressed, (estimate: $50,000-70,000 / AED 183,000-257,000).
Following the recent retrospective of Chafic Abboud (Lebanese, 1926-2004) at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the painting offered at Chrsitie’s is a vivid orange Composition. Painted in 1981, it is estimated at $100,000-150,000 / AED 367,000-551,000. By Paul Guiragossian (Lebanese, 1927-1993) Untitled is a vibrant composition of elongated abstract figures estimated at $30,000-40,000 / AED 110,000-147,000.
North Africa is represented by Lalla Essaydi (b.1956), a photographer from Morocco with a striking work Harem showing a young woman lying across a couch, her robe made of the same cobalt fabric as the sofa and the Isnik-inspired tiles behind her. Composed to reflect the changing status of women in Morocco’s society, from an object within the house, another part of its ornamentation, to this young independent woman who gazes directly at us (estimate: $20,000-30,000 / AED 73,000-110,000).
The Turkish section of the sale includes works by Burcak Bingol, Ferhat Deniz and Gulay Topdemir. The early highlight is Azade Köker’s (b. 1949) The Apple, showing a perfect red fruit against a striking black background engraved with small, discreet stylised faces (estimate: $70,000-90,000 / AED 257,000-330,000).
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