M odel and social entrepreneur Elisa Sednaoui Dellal and academic and patron Alia Al-Senussi – both passionate advocates of art’s ability to empower – are set to bring a fresh perspective to this autumn’s edition of Contemporary Curated at Sotheby’s in London on 19 November.
The duo are prominent members of the art world across multiple continents and, as guest curators of Sotheby’s forthcoming sale, have together hand-picked a personal edit of compelling artworks that resonate with them.
Philanthropy runs through all that Elisa and Alia do, and elsewhere in the sale, ten works will be offered to benefit Elisa Sednaoui Foundation’s Funtasia project. The non-profit organisation provides access to innovative, hands-on creative learning experiences, offering a variety of programs to children and professional development to adults.
“Art is an incredibly powerful tool which cultivates minds and hearts, opening up the imagination and nurturing the soul"
Instinct, Experience and the Creative Risk of Contemporary Art
Founded in 2013, Elisa Sednaoui Foundation, through its project, Funtasia, has provided children across the globe the opportunity to participate in creative and innovative educational programs to help them express themselves and empower them to gain confidence in problem solving, cultural exchange and building communities.
With projects in Egypt, Italy, in the coming weeks Morocco and Mexico and soon in the USA – Funtasia employs a truly multi and cross-cultural approach to education, and this is reflected in the works chosen for this section of the auction. Both Sednaoui Dellal and Al-Senussi have strong links to the Middle East and a number of works have been donated from contemporary artists of the region, with whom the pair share close working relationships, such as Youssef Nabil, Basim Magdy, Etel Adnan and Nadia Ayari — alongside many others.
Other works highlighting the auction are George Condo’s The Butcher’s Wife (with an estimate of £350,000–450,000) and Manolo Valdés’ 2011 work La Dama de Argel (Estimated at £120,0000–180,000) — as well as important works by Tom Wesselman, Antony Gormley, Thomas Houseago and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, showcasing art by many of the most exciting practitioners working today.
"Ultimately, it is about what speaks to you when you stand in front of it, and that entirely personal moment of magic, when a painting takes on a new depth of significance so far beyond its material existence."
Their selected works, alongside other carefully chosen pieces will be placed on public exhibition from 15 – 18 November in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries, ahead of the auction on 19 November. During the exhibition, Sotheby’s will also host a panel discussion chaired by Sednaoui Dellal and Al-Senussi, on the topic of philanthropy, social entrepreneurship and art.