Christie’s third ‘Middle Eastern Modern & Contemporary Art’ auction to be held outside of Dubai will take place on 23 October and is included as part of the rich and traditional Islamic Art Week in London. Around ninety works of Middle Eastern art have been consigned from around the globe, including Los Angeles, New York, London, Dubai, Paris, Beirut, Buenos Aires, Milan, Perth and Casablanca, among others. The auction is mainly focused on modern Arab and Iranian works, with an emphasis on contemporary practice. Strong modern artists from the region include Louay Kayyali and Fateh Moudarres (Syrian), Manoucher Yektai (Iranian), Ismail Shammout (Palestinian), as well as strong selection of modern female artists, including Bibi Zogbé (Lebanense), Chaïbia Talal (Moroccan), Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (Iranian), Zeinab Abd El Hamid (Egyptian) and Tahia Halim (Egyptian). Contemporary artists include Farhad Moshiri, Ali Banisadr, Reza Derakshani and Hadieh Shafie (Iranian) and Marwan Sahmarani (Lebanese).
“A diversity of mediums, subject matter, geographies, and sale estimates characterise Christie’s third Middle East art sale in London, providing a global platform for art and artists from this ever-evolving region,” said Hala Khayat, Christie’s Director and Head of Sale in the Middle East. “From masterworks by some of Iran, Egypt, and Syria’s most celebrated artists to contemporary pieces from emerging talents, there is something compelling for every collector.”
A work by the late Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (1924-2019 – illustrated above), one of Iran’s most celebrated artists who passed away earlier this year, will highlight the auction. Executed in 2008, Untitled (Faravahar Wings, Zarathustra) is a beautiful and rare masterpiece inspired by the wings of Faravahar, one of the most common symbols of the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism. Kaleidoscopic in its magnificent form, the work depicts a series of triangular mirrors that reflects light in every direction, touching upon the concept of the fravashi, which is part of the human soul acting as a divine blessing and entirely good. Standing in front of the work, the viewer can admire the abstracted and simplified version of the Faravahar, as Farmanfarmaian has broken it down to its foundational essence (estimate: £240,000-400,000). The inclusion of Farmanfarmaian’s piece in the auction coincides with major exhibitions of her work this year at the Sharjah Art Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. In 2017 a dedicated museum to the artist opened in Tehran.
Middle Eastern Modern + Contemporary Art
Auction 23 October 2019 in London at 7.00pm
Viewing 19-23 October at Christie’s 8 King Street in London