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Chant Avedissian
ICONS OF THE NILE
Estimation
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
1 000 0001 500 000
Lot. Vendu 1,565,000 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
11
Chant Avedissian
ICONS OF THE NILE
Estimation
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
1 000 0001 500 000
Lot. Vendu 1,565,000 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art / Doha

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Doha

Chant Avedissian
B. 1951
ICONS OF THE NILE
each: signed and numbered
gouache, hand-coloured stencil, gold and silver acrylic paint on cardboard, in hundred and twenty parts
each: 52.6 by 72.6cm.;  20 5/8  by 28 5/8 in.
overall: 315.6 by 1452cm.; 124 1/4  by 571 1/2 in.
Executed in 1991-2010.
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

Exposition

Liverpool, Bluecoat; Beirut, Beirut Exhibition Centre, Arabicity, 2010
London, Rose Issa Projects, Re-Orientations II, 2012

Bibliographie

Exhibition Catalogue, Beirut, Beirut Exhibition Center, Arabicity, 2010, pp. 23-24, illustration of other examples in colour

Description

Whilst studying in the West, first at Fine Arts in Montreal, then at Ecole Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, where he investigated printmaking and silkscreen techniques, Avedissian came to the conclusion that Western academia and its rigidity was not a system within which he could recognise himself. This disillusion resulted in a return to his homeland, where he merged techniques learnt in the West with his strongly rooted Egyptian heritage.

He gradually integrated knowledge gained from his formal studies in Canada and France with personal research into legendary Pharaonic iconography, geometric Islamic architecture, floral patterns of Ottoman textiles, and popular 20th century imagery of icons from the Arab world. Avedissian first started his stencils series during the Gulf War in 1991. The series was catalysed by the overwhelming media coverage of the political situation, which consumed him with feelings of hopelessness and despair, resulting in a collection of faces, places and symbols from his past.

In his sophisticated stencilled works, Avedissian fuses symbols taken from Ancient Egypt such as hieroglyphics and dynastic monuments, with pictures of national heroes, admired politicians, popular singers and actors. These pictures are based on media imagery from Gamel Abdel Nasser’s rule (1956-1970), a decade that witnessed a socio-cultural reawakening permeated with a vigorous wave of Arab nationalism. Avedissian's concern for the disappearance of Egypt's rich heritage at the outbreak of the first Gulf War motivated him to explore topics such as; memory, history, imagery and self-representation in Egyptian culture. This shift in focus was a defining moment in his career as a contemporary artist, which had previously concentrated on photography and hand-dyed and sewn textile panels.

The result is an astounding hundred and twenty panel installation from Avedissian’s Icons of the Niles series, creating a grandiose mosaic of Egyptian cultural history retracing his country’s past, combining nostalgic imagery with a celebration of Egyptian iconographical motifs. Within this work, the artist avoids the use of oil on canvas. Instead, he blends his own pigments and uses a delicate stencil technique to transfer the image onto card or locally produced paper. The stencil technique requires a simplification of line and colour, and thus becomes similar to the hieroglyphic model of symbols. By means of repeating and layering images, Avedissian saturates his works with various suggestions and connotations, eloquently drawing our attention to the many faces of modern Egyptian society and Cairo’s visual landscape. Each stencilled panel embodies a variety of influences and themes, creating vivid organic patterns. His process of creation skilfully combines the use of local pigments, gum arabic, and hand-coloured textiles; the conclusion is presented as a powerful vehicle for the artist’s personal memories and experiences. Avedissian’s work, unique in its approach and execution, repeatedly compares and contrasts the West and the Middle East, art and propaganda, and tradition and modernity.

Throughout this work, the largest piece from Avedissian’s extensive oeuvre, he conveys his admiration and appreciation for opulently iconic Egyptian imagery, coupled with the remnants of his country’s magnificent historical past with an honest and profound sincerity. His iconoclastic images commemorate the country that nourished his creative soul.

Contemporary Art / Doha

|
Doha