Works by Egyptian artists take part in Christie's Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art sale

Ahram Online, Tuesday 18 Oct 2011

Two portraits by the father of Egyptian art Mahmoud Said among a strong body of work by Egyptians up for auction at Christie's in Dubai

Adel El Siwi (Egyptian, B. 1952) The Five Nomadic Kings

Christie’s latest Middle East sale will include works by artists from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria among many others. Works by a number of renowned Egyptian artists will also be up for auction.

The Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art sale is divided into two sections: Part I with 46 works to take place on 25 October and part II with 155 lots on 26 October. Christie’s hopes that the part II sale will encourage a new, younger group of buyers, encouraged by lower prices.

Two remarkable portraits by the father of Egyptian art, Mahmoud Said (1897-1964), are among the works included in the sale: Petite fille d’Assiout painted in 1945, showing a young maidservant, her defiant expression confronting the viewer with the Nile behind her. In contrast to Said’s better-known society portraits, here he has been able to convey the spirit and beauty of this young woman, without adhering to convention. It is estimated at $250,000-300,000.

Among other works by Egyptian artists are: Adel El-Siwi’s pentaptych The Five Nomadic Kings, Kareem El-Qurity’s The Chair Preaches, Ibrahim El-Dessouki’s Living 2011, Georges Bahgory’s The Egyptian Warrior, Sami Aboul Azm’s Departure, as well as works by late artists Saied El-Adawi and Samir Rafi.

Following the success of the Edge of Arabia sale this April where artists from Saudi Arabia donated works for sale in the Christie’s Dubai auction to benefit arts education in the Kingdom, is an inspiring group of six works donated by contemporary Iraqi artists to Echo (Sada) for Contemporary Iraqi Art, a new non-profit organization established to support new works, education programs, preservation initiatives and research in the realm of contemporary art in Iraq and the Diaspora. The works, created especially for the auction, are expected to raise more than $70,000.

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