Bloomberg offers an overview of market strength in Dubai which might be premature, especially since a main data point is supposed purchase of The Card Players by the Qatari Royal family.
International Modern and Contemporary Art in Dubai made $14,043,000 / AED 51,565,896, more than doubling the pre-sale estimate of $6.7 million and confirming Christie’s market leadership in the region.
The auction was 84% sold by lot. The buyer breakdown by lot was 60% from the Middle East, 28% from Europe, 10% from the Americas and 2% from Asia.
The sale concludes a record year for Christie’s in contemporary Middle Eastern art, with an increase of 117 percent over 2009.
2010 TOTAL RESULT – $29 million
2009 TOTAL RESULT- $13 million
This sale is on fire. Bidding is through the roof.
Mahmoud Said‘s The Whirling Dervishes breaks the $2m mark to sell for $2.2m hammer price.
Georgina Adam has an intriguing tale in her Financial Times column surrounding a collection of works that were meant to be sold in Dubai later this month known as the “lost collection” because the works were unknown to scholars and the market. But it turns out the reason the works are unknown — and have now been withdrawn from the sale — may be that the owners never acquired them properly:
According to Christie’s publicity, the works came from a US couple: “Eric and Sheila [Azari], who formed the collection, were patrons of the arts in Tehran from the late 1950s through the 1970s.” […]
Parviz Tanavoli, one of the artists whose work was in the “Lost Collection”, told me, “In the 1960s, Eric Azari and his wife were living in Tehran and they asked a number of artists to give them art for sale in the new gallery he was opening. I gave 12 paintings; others gave many more. There were a lot of promises but we were never paid, but just recently we saw some of the works in Christie’s sale. We did try to negotiate with Christie’s but the terms were unacceptable.”Continue Reading
Foreign Policy reviews Michael Schindhelm’s memoir of trying to help build Dubai into a cultural Mecca for 21st Century:
From the start, Schindhelm found in Dubai a land of superlatives and excess in stark contrast to the sober constraints of home. “This city is in total mobilization,” he writes in his book, currently available only in German, “not only in competition with time; it is a protest against time.… Everything is in a process of transformation, marching forward.”
His pressing task was to create swiftly what Dubai’s leaders proclaimed would be “the most comprehensive cultural destination in the world.” This included, first and foremost, an opera housed within an undulating structure designed by starchitect Zaha Hadid to resemble sand dunes and meant to accommodate an audience of 3,000 in a society with no tradition of theater or music. Continue Reading
Art Dubai opens tomorrow but The National has the rundown of artists, galleries and shows today:
At Artspace we get Adel El Siwi, a well-known Egyptian painter who goes in for spiky, witty portraits: think Sue Macartney-Snape’s Social Stereotypes cartoons fed through the brain of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Rose Issa is ploughing everything into Chant Avedissian’s sumptuous pop-culture riffs. Frey Norris is leading with the largest canvas yet from Kate Eric, the collaborative identity of Kate Tedman and Eric Siemans. […] The Saudi conceptualist (and army major) Abdulnasser Gharem shares a bill with the Egyptian pop-artist Khaled Hafez, the British-Iranian painter Sacha Jafri and Canada’s hi-tech artist Daniel Canogar. Dubai’s own Carbon 12 is coming out with its usual cast of international talents: a splashy fashion rage from the painter Katherine Bernhardt, spooky theatre interiors from Gil Heitor Cortesao and Sara Rahbar’s satirical textile collages among them. Clearly there’s still room for the something-for-everyone approach.Continue Reading
The Economist explores Egyptian Modernism through the collection of Mohammed Said Farsi who owns a substantial collection of Egyptian Modern works. He’s selling 25 of them through Christie’s in Dubai this April:
In 1908 the Egyptian School of Fine Arts was founded in Cairo. Paris was still the centre of the art world in the first half of the 20th century, so Egyptian artists naturally looked to France for both scholarship and patronage. Mahmoud Mokhtar, one of the first graduates of the Cairo school, went on to win a scholarship to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He became one of many Egyptian artists to soak up European influences, only to return home and use them to create a specifically local imagery. (His most famous sculpture, “Nahdit Misr” or “Egypt’s Renaissance” from 1928, stands at the gate of Cairo University.) The result is an Egyptian modernism full of its own kind of expressionism, surrealism and monumental sculpture. Continue Reading