101 Arab works on auction at the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris

Ahram Online, Sunday 13 Jan 2013

"Syriart" event will see works by 61 Arab artists go under the hammer on 21 January with proceeds going to support civilians in war-torn Syria

Syria art
photo by Institute du Monde

French auction house Pierre Bergé and Associates will hold "Syriart" event auctioning off 101 artworks by 61 Arab artists at Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris’s Arab World Institute) on 21 January.

The project is intended to "convey, through the work of several artists, Arab society’s support to the civilian victims of the current repression in Syria," the Syriart statement reads, all proceeds of auction will go to civilians in war-torn Syria.

The event will also put the spotlight on artists from the Middle East and North Africa, many of whose works rarely reach auction outside of Dubai.

The artwork featured in the auction are estimated to be jointly worth €400-20,000 ($525 - 26,000).

Some of the artists represented are Syrian, such as mixed-media painter Ola Abdallah whose Le Paradis de l’Abricot (Paradise of the Apricot), a diptych of ink and pigments on rice paper, is estimated to fetch €6,000-9,000 ($7,850-11,750).

Among the featured artists is Syrian sculptor Sabhan Adam whose work Sans Titre (Untitled), which depicts a sullen-faced figure on a red background, is estimated at €6,000-8,000.

Meanwhile Heaven, a red photograph on cotton capturing rows of young men lined up in solidarity, the work of Qatar-dwelling Syrian artist Jaber El-Azmeh, is estimated at €1,800 -3,000.

In addition to the Syrian artists, those whose work will go under the hammer include well-known figures among the Parisian arts scene such as Meriem Bouderbala, Mohamed El Baz, Lalla Essaydi and Mounir Fatmi.

Sixty per cent of the proceeds will go to three Syrian NGOs, one of which is a medical organisation. The remaining 40 per cent will fund the efforts of the International Federation for Human Rights in Syria.

According to the UN’s latest assessment, the Syrian conflict has resulted in over 60,000 victims and continues to wreak havoc among the civilian population, rendering the humanitarian situation extremely critical.

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