Art & Culture

Bidding Open for: Middle Eastern Modern and Contemporary Art Matters of Material

We are all Beirut Nous Sommes Tous Beyrouth كُلنا بيروت Online 11-24 November
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FARHAD MOSHIRI (IRANIAN, B. 1963), Baby keychains 134 x 166 cm, executed in 2020. Estimate: £50,000-70,000 | US$66,000-91,000 | €55,000-77,000.

This November, Christie’s marks the 15th Dubai fall auction season with three online auctions of Middle Eastern Art, showcasing works from this evolving regional market. Bidding begins 11 November online and includes a special charity auction – We Are All Beirut, alongside the traditional Middle Eastern Modern and Contemporary Art sale and a specially curated auction entitled Matters of Material. All three sales are running from 11 to 24 November offering a variety of 151 lots with estimates ranging from below £5,000 to £250,000 providing opportunities for collectors at all levels.

Middle Eastern Modern & Contemporary Art sale offers a diverse selection with works from artists across the MENA region, covering a diverse array of aesthetics and art schools from Morocco to Iran. Headline lots include works by Farid Belkahia, Mohamed Melehi, Samia Halaby, Rachid Koraïchi (see below) and Farhad Moshiri. With an inaugural design section, curated by architect and interior designer Viktor Udzenija, the sale showcases a range of contemporary reinterpretations and traditional influences with pieces by Ranya Sarakbi, Nada Debs and Hassan Hajjaj.

1605439359567091 rachid kora chi le chemin de roses 2000 2001 estimate 200 000 250 000
RACHID KORAÏCHI, Le Chemin de Roses, Executed in 2001 / 2000 Estimate: £200,000-250,000, US$260,000-320,000

These 6 panels of Le Chemin de Roses by Rachid Koraïchi’s, (born 1947, Algeria) created between 2000 and 2001 (estimate: £200,000-250,000), are part of the artist’s larger installation comprising a total of twenty-eight embroidered silk banners and their accompanying tracing paper drawings. In the present work, the artist continues a long-standing collaboration with traditional craftsmen from his country. Koraïchi began the process by drawing signs with ink and the traditional qalam onto tracing paper, before applying golden acrylic paint onto the precious fabric, which were then intricately embroidered by specialists with the richness of gold thread onto dark blue, indigo silk banners - the latter perhaps as reference to the famous Blue Qur'an from the tenth century.

A collaboration between Christie’s and International Consultant Dina Nasser-Khadivi, Matters of Material is a curated auction focusing on defying stereotypes and supporting diversity in the international contemporary art market. Selected works from the Middle East, Africa and Latin America explore how media and materials can be used and recycled to create powerful statements and works of art. In the piece Baby, illustrated first page, Moshiri chose to work with key chains, collected from his own travels, as they are considered amongst one of the most every-day objects one can find and yet they can contain so much symbolism as a memory of a specific place and time. Although his artwork is often stereotyped as Pop, exotic, or rooted in Persian traditions and styles, it is very much about global exchanges. Moshiri is able to appropriate from, parody, and steer his art from all directions: North, South, East, and certainly West. His work takes a complex look at how we define our own cultural identity. To date he has only ever produced three works with this media and Baby, 2020 is the first one to be offered at auction.

1605439404453434 alfred basbous cedar estimate 15 000 20 000
Donated by the Alfred Basbous Foundation, Beirut ALFRED BASBOUS (LEBANESE, 1924-2006), Cedar, bronze 25½ in. (65cm.). Estimate: £15,000-20,000 | US$20,000-26,000

Following the devastating explosion in Lebanon’s capital city in August, our charity sale We Are All Beirut offers art, design and jewellery in support of the arts community in Beirut, with proceeds benefiting Arab Fund Arts & Culture (AFAC). In addition, a selection of works have been sourced by Art Haus Beirut, their proceeds to go towards the Lebanese Red Cross. As part of this Art Haus group, a striking Alfred Basbous figurative sculpture has been donated by the Alfred Basbous Foundation. A modern pioneer artist from Lebanon, Basbous is noted for his lifelong exploration of the human form and its abstract properties across European and Middle Eastern art circles, and working in the tradition of sculptors such as Auguste Rodin, Jean Arp and Henry Moore. From 1994 to 2004, Basbous organized the International Symposium of Sculpture in Rachana, Lebanon, where famous sculptors from around the world were invited to create, sculpt and exhibit their works alongside his own.

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