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Modern and Contemporary Arab and Iranian art on sale at Sotheby's London

Sotheby’s London announced a sale of Modern and Contemporary art by Arab and Iranian artists will take place on Tuesday, 4 October 

 Left: Bahman Mohasses's "Untitled"; Middle: Hadieh Shafie's "10450 Pages"; Right: Ferhad Moshiri's "Blue Dome"

Comprised of 123 lots, the sale will include major works by leading modern masters such as Louay Kayyali, Fateh Moudarres and Aref el Rayess, as well as key pieces by some of the foremost contemporary artists, among them Farhad Moshiri, Ziad Antar and Yousef Nabil.

The sale will also be highlighted by seven Iraqi works, including a work by Jawad Salim. The sale is expected to realise in excess of £2.5 million.

Following on from the success of Sotheby’s 2010 Contemporary Arab and Iranian sale, Sotheby’s will present two works by Sohrab Sepehri and Bahman Mohasses. Mohasses’s Untitled (estimated £50,000- 70,000) provides an enlightening perspective into the isolated nature of Mohasses' disposition. He felt confined by his Iranian identity when he was living in Rome and by developing his distinct style, he fell further into fashioning fresco-style paintings juxtaposed with harsh realism.

Sohrab Sepehri’s Tree Trunks Series was painted during a spell in New York. The trees were a solace to the artist and became an escape from the hustle of Manhattan and the pressures on his time. One of the most highly acclaimed and reserved of Iran's modern masters, Sohrab Sepehri, poet and artist, has left an indelible mark on the Iranian art scene. His Untitled from this important series, is estimated at £200,000-300,000.

A group of three distinct works by Farhad Moshiri represent three stages in the artist’s personal artistic development. An early work by Moshiri, Blue Dome (From the Persian Motif Series) was painted at a time of hopefulness and perhaps rediscovery, when Iran was opening up to the West. This work is estimated at £60,000-80,000.  Space Station is one of Moshiri's most striking hand embroidered works to come to public auction. Estimated at £100,000- 150,000, Space Station epitomises the artist’s experimentation in juxtaposing the crafts of Iran with the modernity of the West.

The third work by Moshiri is his 9's On Yellow, estimated at £150,000-250,000.

A very exciting work in the New Artists component of the sale is Iranian artist Hadieh Shafie’s 10450 Pages, estimated at £4,000-6,000. Process, repetition and time are all essential to Shafie’s oeuvre; all of which is rooted in the influence of Islamic arts and crafts. Shafie has been shortlisted for this year's Jameel Prize to be awarded at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London at the end of September.

Also included in the sale is Iranian artist Navid Nuur, who exhibited in this year's Arsenale at the Venice Biennale, showing two works from the same series as the present work. Inspired by the monochrome works of artists such as Anish Kapoor and Mark Rothko, Nuur observed that these artworks all feed from a certain eye coordination movement; the same movement used when looking at any single monochrome work. His Study (From The Eye Codex Of The Monochrome Series), executed in 1984-2010, is a unique work estimated at £3,000-4,000.

A particular highlight is the appearance of Scratching on Things I Could Disavow Parts 2 & 3 by leading Lebanese artist Walid Raad, whose work focuses on researching, documenting and preserving the contemporary history of Lebanon. Scratching on Things I Could Disavow Parts 2 & 3 is estimated at £15,000-20,000.

Sotheby’s sale of Modern and Contemporary Arab and Iranian Art will offer seven works by seven Iraqi artists, collectively estimated at £182,000-248,000. Artists working in Iraq, in the 1970s were notably active in the art world, exhibiting in Biennales and creating excitement across the Arab world and beyond.

Highlighting the Iraqi Art component is Jawad Salim, a decisive figure in the Iraqi movement. His Portrait Of A Girl (circa 1950), is estimated at £70,000-90,000. His capacity to create remarkable sculptures and paintings inevitably led to his impact on the history of Iraqi art.

A further highlight from the Iraq component of the sale is Dia Azzawi’s Visit Of Al Kassim  (est. £20,000-30,000).

The sale will also include a section of 10 Contemporary Iranian works donated by artists which will be sold to benefit children’s charity Kids Company. Founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996, the charity provides practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable children and young people. Kids Company have a hugely successful arts programme, encompassing visual arts, new media, fashion, music, drama and dance.

Via Ahram Online
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