Christie’s $7.3m sale of art in Dubai represented a shift in the auction house’s strategy in developing the market in the Gulf States, according to the Abu Dhabi’s The National:
For the first time in the Middle East, the international auction house split its sale over two nights in Dubai, with the first part for more expensive and renowned artists and the second for rising stars and local talent at lower starting prices. Sales on the second night, Tuesday, reached US$2.3 million (Dh8.4m), beating the pre-sale estimate of $2m, and 39 of the 150 artists whose works were being sold were younger than 35.
Isabelle de La Bruyère, the Middle East director of Christie’s, says the second night was “packed” with young people looking to dip their toes into the world of modern and contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art. “When I looked around the sales room, it was quite surprising how many young buyers there were or people buying for the first time,” said Ms de La Bruyère. “It was a younger crowd and it was good to see that.”
Five contemporary Emirati artists were being introduced to the international auction market at the second part of the sale, and both saw personal records for their pieces. Fifty-three were sold on the second night with estimates under $10,000. Eighty-three per cent of the pieces on offer were sold, and Turkish artists were completely sold out.
“It really does show you that the end market is going towards contemporary art and the younger generation want to buy art from their generation,” said Ms de La Bruyère.
Art Auction House Enters Youth Period (The National)