LONDON – Art of The Middle East & India week enjoyed strong results over four sales, offering a diverse range of property from a fast-growing area of the market. From ancient artefacts to works in neon, paintings and photography, the week started with the Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art sale, in which the top lot was Francis Newton Souza’s The Deposition, 1963, achieving £1.6 million – more than double its high estimate. The Arts of the Islamic World auction was led by rare manuscripts and calligraphies, with the exquisite Timurid manuscript of Sa’adi’s Kulliyat selling for £473,000. The Khosravani-Diba Sale allowed a glimpse in to this fascinating single-owner collection, with A study of a Stork – a work previously owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis reaching £245,000, well above the £80,000 pre-sale estimate. The week concluded with the 20th Century Art/Middle East sale in which Mahmoud Mokhtar’s elegant marble, El Amira, 1925-30, sold for £545,000. In a further display of strength for this category, records were achieved for both Etel Adnan and Hossein Valamanesh. The combined sales totalled £14.7 million, exceeding the pre-sale expectations. VIEW SLIDESHOW
Bahman Mohasses was born in Rasht, Iran in 1931, and remains one of the central figures of Modernism in the region. In the forthcoming 20th Century Art/Middle East sale, a number of important works on canvas and on paper will be offered for sale, in a rare chance to see the breadth of his artistic output alongside his peers, and the generation of artists he subsequently influenced. After a period of political unrest in Iran, Mohasses left Iran for Italy in 1954, where he studied at the Academy of Arts in Rome under Ferruccio Ferrazzi, and was exposed the work of Alberto Giacometti, Michelangelo and Dante. With a unique lens on both Europe and Iran, these two cultures continued in dialogue with each other throughout his career, before his death in 2010.
Rose Issa has spent more than twenty years championing the work of artists from the Middle East in her London gallery and beyond. Hugely influential in the careers of many key figures in contemporary art from the region, she has curated exhibitions around the world and published numerous books and catalogues to accompany them. This weekend, she will be in conversation with Juliet Cesar at Sotheby’s new Dubai office to coincide with the launch of her latest book, Signs of Our Times – From Calligraphy to Calligraffiti, co-authored with Juliet Cestar and Venetia Porter.
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