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PROPERTY THE PRIVATE COLLECTION OF MR. FADHIL CHALABI
Born in 1929 in Baghdad, Fadhil J. Chalabi studied law at Baghdad University and graduated in 1951 and subsequently was one of the first people from his hometown to gain a PhD in oil economics from the University of Paris. He was one of the few people to leave their country for its benefit rather than his own. He left on a mission to learn something that he could eventually bring back to his country to better it and expose it to what’s out there in terms of culture and way of life. Fadhil belonged to a generation of the 1940s that had large aspirations and a drive for the development and progress in Iraq, only to become disheartened by the dreadful developments in Iraq since 1980.
Chalabi was the Executive Director of the Centre for Global Energy Studies, a London-based think-tank he co-chaired alongside H.E. Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani (B. 1930). Additionally, he was the former Undersecretary for Oil at Iraq's Ministry of Petroleum as well as Deputy Secretary General of OPEC from 1978-89 and it’s Acting Secretary General 1983-88. In 1988 he received an Award for Distinction British Institute of Energy Economics. He is also the author of many articles and three books: Oil Policies, Oil Myths: Observations of an OPEC Insider (2010), OPEC and the International Oil Industry: A Changing Structure (1980), and OPEC at the Crossroads (1989).
A lifetime working in the oil industry didn’t stop him from gaining a passion for art. Since his adolescence, Fadhil was always passionate for visual arts and especially for classical music, even playing cello as a hobby. During his time in Paris, Chalabi forged a friendship with renowned Iraqi artist, Shaker Hassan Al Said (1925-2004). Through this friendship, Chalabi had a gaining interest in art and began collecting works by the artist himself as well as other artists from his homeland as these works were his remaining connection to it. Over the years Mr. Chalabi has accumulated a massive collection of artworks by solely Iraqi artists. He remained devoted to his homeland and continuously supported the ever-growing art scene in Iraq. In the present sale, Christie’s is proud to offer 12 pieces from various Iraqi artists from his outstanding collection.
This collection aims to enthuse, and it did just that when it came to Chalabi’s sons, Talik and Jaafar, who, because of their father’s drive and collection were inspired to become architects. Through these works, Mr. Chalabi hopes to impassion other aspiring artists to move forward with their desires just as he did, as one never knows what’s in store for themselves.
Christie's is honoured to have been entrusted with the enchanting and seminal works from the Chalabi Collection. Looking into what defines the strength and continuity of Iraqi Modern art, this collection offers a broader vision into the artistic evolution of some of the most prominent Iraqi artists.