Christie’s auction of Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art totaled $7,980,875 / AED 29,305,773 and set 42 new world auction records for Middle Eastern artists. The highlight of the sale was when 6 works by Saudi Arabian contemporary artists known as Edge of Arabia, were sold for $1,051,000 / AED 3,859,272, against a pre-sale estimate of around $135,000.
The money raised will enable the expansion of Edge of Arabia’s education programme and art workshops in Saudi Arabia’s schools and universities. A video about this success is available to download from the Christie’s website (see below for download details).
Applause was heard from the audience when the leading lot in the Edge of Arabia section, Message/ Messenger, a three-metre wide wood and copper dome symbolising the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem by Abdulnasser Gharem, sold for $842,500 / AED 3,093,660, more than ten times its original estimate. Five out of the six lots offered set new auction records for works by the artists but this was later rectified in the sale when Ayman Yossri Daydban’s Wasat Al Halaba, sold for $27,500 / AED 100,980, breaking the previous record.
Michael Jeha, Managing Director of Christie’s Middle East, commented: “ Records tumbled in a standing-room-only saleroom, reflecting the increasing international appeal and quality of art from the Middle East. We were delighted to add 42 records to the 318 already established by Christie’s sales in the Middle East since 2006. ”
Creative Director of Edge of Arabia, Abdullah Al-Turki: “We all wish to thank Christie's for providing an international platform which confirms that these works by Saudi artists can hold their weight as record-breaking pieces of contemporary art. The proceeds from the Edge of Arabia works sold tonight will go toward nurturing a new generation of artists and curators in Saudi Arabia.”
Aside from the Edge of Arabia group, the packed saleroom witnessed a new record for the Egyptian modern master Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar (1925-1965), one of the leading proponents of surrealism, when Fishing, sold for $746,500 / AED 2,741,148 (estimate: $250,000-350,000); an early wood sculpture of a figure by the Iraqi artist Jewad Selim (1921-1961) also set a record when it sold against many bidders for $662,500 / AED 2,432,700. Among the contemporary works, an exceptional piece from the talented young Lebanese artist Ayman Baalbaki (b. 1975) Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom, was finally bought for $206,500 / AED 758,268 after a heated bidding battle against an estimate of $50,000-70,000.
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Notes to editors:
Downloading from the FTP: To access this file, click on the link below and use the user name / password given to log on. https://ftpus.christies.com
Username: christies Password: christies
Once you enter the ftp site, you will find it by entering the DUBAI 2011 folder and then entering the DUBAI VIDEO folder after that.
Christie’s, the world's leading art business had global auction and private sales in 2010 that totaled £3.3 billion/$5.0 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450 sales annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s has 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai and Hong Kong. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in emerging and new markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.
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