Prominent Arab Painters Spotlighted at Christie's
Christie's held an auction of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art in London. The collection, comprising 58 works in various mediums, highlighted the artistic richness and contemporary dynamism of the region. Artists hailing from the Middle East and North Africa contributed, showcasing the region's diverse cultural fabric.
Ahmed Mater ‘From the Real to the Symbolic City’
Three pieces were highlighted from the ongoing "Desert of Pharan" series. Focused on Makkah, the series explores the interplay between Islamic culture and globalization, expressing the Saudi artist's spiritual connection to the city and concerns about its rapid transformation. The 2012 image offers a distinctive view of Makkah's Al-Mansour district.
Sultan bin Fahad ‘Mosques’
From the "Holy Economy" series, this 2021 piece draws inspiration from scarves in Saudi Arabia with mistranslated Makkah imagery meant for pilgrims. Collaborating with African artisans, Fahad created beaded tapestries, evoking the 17th-century Taj Mahal with African color traditions. The work connects West Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East, encouraging contemplation on mutual understanding and cross-cultural exchanges.
Shakir Hassan Al-Said ‘Untitled’
Al-Said, a prominent Iraqi artist, eschewed Western influences to shape a regional aesthetic. His mid-1970s piece, featuring Arabic writing, departs from stylized calligraphy, emphasizing city wall gestural patterns and reflecting his quest to explore spirituality while deconstructing art's essence.
Etel Adnan ‘Untitled’
"Untitled" (2003) by Adnan, a key figure in contemporary Arab-American culture, spans literature, poetry, and art. This radiant work captures Adnan's vision as 'multidimensional and simultaneous,' merging various images into a singular sensory experience.
Mahmoud Sabri ‘Rural Family’
Sabri's 1960 "Rural Family" is a rare masterpiece by the pioneering Iraqi modern artist. Originating from the artist's estate, it was created during the same period as his acclaimed "Funeral of the Martyr" series.
Abd Al-Hadi El-Gazzar ‘Abstraction’
Directly from the artist's estate, "Abstraction" is a rare 1955 piece by El-Gazzar, featured in Valerie Didier's forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné. The work marks a shift as the artist eliminates real-life resemblance, transitioning to themes of industrialization and spatial conquest.
Created in 1990, this painting by Algerian artist, Baya, reflects her characteristic vibrancy. Noted for recurring motifs like "female figures in flowery dresses" and "plumages of multi-colored birds," the artwork showcases a delightful interplay of shapes and colors.
Youssef Nabil ‘Untitled (Shirin Neshat)’
This photo, part of a series featuring Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, showcases Egyptian artist Nabil's acclaimed portrait photography. Inspired by technicolor films, his hand-painted black-and-white photographs are unique variations, reflecting his labor and influenced by mid-20th-century Egyptian cinema.
Hassan Hajjaj ‘Eyes on Me’
Hajjaj's globally recognized photography fuses luxury fashion with counterfeit goods and mass-market pop culture, featuring repeated motifs.