After having recently issued the very strong first half 2018 results for the company of almost $4 billion, up by 35% vs first half 2017, due to the outstanding philanthropic sale of the Rockefeller collection but also to an ever increasing demand and auction engagement, the second half of 2018 will be an as busy season for Christie’s globally as well as for our local team. This will be including a refurbishment of our representative office at DIFC, which towards the end of 2018 will receive its own exhibition space and a library, made accessible to all art interested students as well as young and established collectors.
2018 marks also the 20th anniversary of Michael Jeha as Deputy Chairman Christie’s the Middle East, as well as the 10th anniversary of Hala Khayat, as Director and Senior Specialist, Middle Eastern Art. Besides these, the recent appointments of Suzy Sikorski, as Junior Specialist Middle Eastern Modern and Contemporary Art and Bob Xue, as Junior Specialist, Watches will further strengthen Christie’s position in the region by expanding and developing key relationships with private collectors and buyers from around the region. Furthermore, Christie’s has reinforced, its regional outreach by appointing Zaid Belbagi as its additional representative consultant in Saudi Arabia. With this new appointment, Christie’s is now present in five Middle Eastern countries besides the UAE, with Dubai remaining the main operational hub as well as sole auction center for the region.
CHRISTIE’S IN THE MIDDLE EAST
UAE: Michael Jeha and his team of experts
Turkey: Eda Kehale Argün
Saudi Arabia: Zaid Belbagi and Hayat Shobokshi
Lebanon: Lyne Kaddoura
International: Dina Nasser Khadivi
11 – 12 September 2018
Ahead of the next Middle Eastern Modern and Contemporary Art Auction in October, Christie’s London will host – in association with Dubai Watch Week – their first international Horology Forum in London.
An original concept created by Dubai Watch Week, the Horology Forum is designed to foster free-flowing conversation covering a broad spectrum of industry topics. It is the first edition of its kind in partnership with Christie’s and is expected to attract a growing number of visitors from the global watch community as it gains international momentum. This exciting event will be happening on 11 and 12 September and will also be transmitted LIVE (more info to follow) for all collectors that might not be able to join us in person in London. (a separate press release is available).
18 September 2018
Christie’s is very much looking forward to visiting Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvatore Mundi in its new home, the recently opened Louvre in Abu Dhabi. When the painting was on pre-sale view at Christie’s London and New York, thousands of people came to view it and its sale was followed online by nearly half a million people. It is unquestionable that a dialogue between two masterpieces – The Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris and the Salvator Mundi at the Louvre Abu Dhabi – both painted by one of the greatest acknowledged Italian master’s will be taken place and develop interesting findings for any art enthusiast.
24 October 2018
On 24 October Christie’s will be holding its 25th sale of Middle Eastern Modern and Contemporary Art, which will be taking place in London for the second time, to where the October auctions have been transferred back in 2017.
The highlight of the sale, An Ear of Mud, an Ear of Paste, executed by one of the most sought after Modern Egyptian Masters, Abdel Hadi El Gazzar’s (1925-1966 / estimate: $445,000-572,000), has been announced early June and was exhibited in London during the auction weeks for the highly sought after Impressionist and Post War and Contemporary Art Evening sales and therewith seen by collectors from around the globe.
Painted in 1951 An Ear of Mud, an Ear of Paste was part of the Janna and George Laudato collection since 1986, when it was gifted to them by Janna’s mother, whilst living in Cairo. Abdel Hadi El Gazzar is also the artist of choice of Valérie Didier Hess and Dr. Hussam Rashwan, of their second catalog raisonné due to be published later in 2019, with the help of the Abdel Hadi El Gazzar Foundation. The duo Hess / Rashwan published in 2017 the first ever catalog raisonné of any Middle Eastern artist, Mahmoud Saïd.
Additional highlights of the October auction include:
Often referred to as ‘tableaux vivants’, Hamed Uwais’s (Egyptian, 1919-2011) masterpieces depict a wide range of Egyptian characters set against a backdrop that referenced political events or social realities in Egypt at the time. In his work America, painted in 1970 Ewais provides a visually scathing commentary on the diplomatic stalemate between Egypt and its allies against Israel from 1967 to 1970. He is mainly underscoring the involvement of outside powers – namely the United Sated – in Middle Eastern affairs through a tightly constructive narrative that is loaded with symbolism. The central figure in the present work is not a human, but a machine: a mechanical Trojan horse that is rearing and seemingly capable of any destruction due to its intricate and advanced engineering features and represents Egypt’s military advancement.
Taking a closer look at the background setting of this scene, we can observe the artist’s recreation of an Egyptian landscape culture –particularly one that was associated with Ancient Egyptian civilization, emphasizing that Egypt is heir to one of the world’s most ancient cultures. His articulation of a very political message is related to the safeguarding and protection of not only Egyptian land, but the protection of its heritage, identity and civilization as a whole from foreign powers (estimate: $89,000-127,000).
Mohammed Ehsai (Iranian, b. 1939) is a pioneer artist incorporating Persian script with contemporary techniques – a seamless transition between ancient and the modern bringing about an entirely new face to lyrical Iranian art. Untitled from the Allah series, painted in 1975 uses the common two-tonality to underline the visual contrast and increasing the focus on the flow of scripture. The white background embodies spirituality and connection one may have with God. The green used for the scriptures is directly connected to the Holy being hence the remembrance of God or Allah, thus creating a calm yet bold effect as the words present – the thought and remembrance of Allah (estimate: $76,000-101,000).
Marwan (Syrian, 1964-2016) has been internationally acclaimed for his stylistic, post-Surrealist approaches to portraiture and still life. In Untitled (Still Life), 1977 (estimate: $38,000-50,000), the artist uses this technique of overlaying paint to highlight distinct features while abstracted certain defined characteristics. His expressiveness within his works becomes freer and larger in scale with the use of extremely heavy and visual brush strokes. These bold strokes of paint add to the dimensionality of the objects present. Originally from Syria but spending most of his life in Germany, Marwan became the first Arab member of the distinguished Akademie der Künste of Germany. The ideals of his work very often addressed his views on human rights in Syria, Iraq, and Palestine.
A full press release, including all the events around the London auction, will be circulated mid of September.