THE earliest example of contemporary Iraqi artist Ahmed Alsoudani including a dictator figure in his work is a feature lot at Christie’s April sales of modern and contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art in Dubai on April 17 and 18. The striking highly coloured image of a disfigured face surrounded by shattered forms was painted in 2008. It is estimated at $300,000-500,000. Last October in London there was a new world record for Alsoudani when his Baghdad I sold for $1.1 million at Christie’s.
There are two key works by Mahmoud Saïd, the father of modern Egyptian art. His view of a woman and donkeys beside the Nile with a mountain range beyond is estimated at $250,000-300,000. Other highlights include pieces by Ayman Baalbaki, Jewad Selim, Louay Kayyali, Mohammad Ehsai, Parviz Tanavoli and Nasrollah Afjehei and the Turkish artists Burhan Cahit Do?ançay and Azade Köker. Last week Art Dubai, the Gulf fair for contemporary art from the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia, recorded high volumes of sales from what is still a young market. In 2012, Art Dubai welcomed 22,500 visitors, including 75 international museums groups.
UPDATE: Christie’s April sales of Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art totaled $6,402,825 / AED23,515,190 against a pre-sale high estimate of $6.1 million. The sales were 93% sold by value.