Colin Gleadell sets up today’s Contemporary Turkish auction that is now being held as part of Islamic art week at Sotheby’s:
The Islamic sales are a bi-annual event on the calendar, but this week something different has been added to the mix: Sotheby’s has drifted into the 20th and 21st centuries, with a sale on Thursday devoted to contemporary Turkish art. Sotheby’s held its first sale of contemporary Turkish art last year, but, because it was not during Islamic sales week, it did not have that kind of juxtaposition which draws attention to the relationship of artists to their cultural heritage. The mix of art otherwise on offer follows last year’s pattern, although there are hopes that, if the modern art can turn a few heads, sales will rise from last year’s £1.3?million total (near the lower end of the estimate) to over £2?million.
Whereas the Ottoman Empire was a source of inspiration to Western artists in 19th century, modern Turkish art was influenced by the West and the Parisian fashions for cubism and abstraction in particular. A classic example in this sale is an untitled Fifties painting – inspired by African totems – by Fahrelnissa Zeid, the doyenne of modern Turkish painters working in Paris.
Estimated at £300,000-£500,000, it’s the kind of price you would expect from more established School of Paris artists from the Fifties, such as Serge Poliakoff or Hans Hartung.
Art Sales: Islamic Art Week (Telegraph)