Last month, the Teheran Auction (which organizers hope will become an annual event) sold all 73 works on offer for a total of $1.7m. The Financial Times covered the sale which was skewed—not surprisingly—toward the middle market:
The top lot on Friday, sold by a private collector, was an untitled 1967 abstract painting by the poet and artist Sohrab Sepehri (1928-80). It fetched 1.9bn rials ($155,000), just above the low pre-sale estimate, in thin bidding. Other, more affordable, works were more hotly contested. A photograph of a cow, part of film director and photographer by Abbas Kiarostami’s “Snow White” series, made more than $29,000, squarely in the middle of its estimate. Tanavoli’s 2009 “The Wall and Three Heeches” did better, punching through its upper estimate of just over $65,000 to achieve more than $94,000.
Kourosh Shishegaran, whose painting “Figure”, an image of a person apparently entangled in stripes, sold for $57,000, says the auction is an indication of an artistic scene that is on an upward trajectory. “Iranian artists are approaching a golden period,” he said.