Bonhams London Middle Eastern & South Asian Art Sale

Bonhams first dedicated sale of Middle Eastern and South Asian Art to be held outside of Dubai features works of art by artists from no fewer than 13 countries. It takes place in Bonhams main saleroom in New Bond Street, London on 3rd June.

With this auction Bonhams hopes to emulate the previous success seen in their Dubai sales which saw numerous artist records broken, including the first sale of a work of art by a Middle Eastern artist for over $1,000,000, the painting titled `Eshgh’ (Love) by the Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri .

There has recently been significant Western interest in these emerging markets, partially stoked by two important exhibitions held in London: Indian Highway at the Serpentine Gallery, and Unveiled: New art from the Middle East’ at The Saatchi Gallery. Furthermore, there is a UAE and Palestine pavilion planned for this years Venice Biennale in June.

middle-eastern.jpgAmongst the Indian artists featured in the sale, nine works by Francis Newton Souza are included which comprehensively represent the artists varied oeuvre, the highlight being Still life with three fish, £80,000-120,000. An interesting vertical landscape by the artist is also to be offered, Night Landscape, £50,000-80,000. These are being offered amongst examples of high quality works by artists such as S.H. Raza, Sadanand. K. Bakre, Jamini Roy and Sohan Qadri.

Pakistani artists are well represented in the sale, the highlight being an early portrait by Sadequain of a young lady who was attached to the Austrian Embassy in Pakistan during the late 1950s (Lady amidst mountain cacti, £50,000-70,000). One of his largest early works to be offered at auction, it features many of his ‘trademark’ themes notably the cacti. Sadequain portrays the object of his affections as Hestia, the Roman goddess of the hearth and virginity.

Works by Jamil Naqsh, Bashir Mirza, Adeela Suleman are also included in the sale, as is a work by A.R. Chughtai which was presented by Air Marshal M. Nur Khan, Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Air Force, to the Iranian Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on his visit to Pakistan in July 1969 (Mughal Princess, £20,000-30,000).

The second half of the sale features works by some of the most notable artists from the Middle East. Two works by the troubled Syrian artist Louai Kayyali (Lottery Seller, £40,000-60,000 & Seated Woman, £40,000-60,000) are accompanied by works by Paul Guiragossian, Fateh Moudarres, Dia Azzawi, Adel-El Siwi, Farid Belkahia, Abdallah Benanteur and Safwan Dahoul.

The sale also includes works by some of the premier artists from Iran. Works by Modern Masters Sohrab Sepehri, Faramarz Pilaram, Parviz Tanavoli, Aydin Aghdashloo and Marcos Grigorian are presented alongside works by cutting edge artists such as Reza Derakshani, Roya Akhavan, Pooya Aryanpour, Rokni Haerizadeh, Afshin Pirhashemi, Koorosh Shishegaran, and Samira Alikanzadeh. Works by notable Iranian photographers Shirin Neshat, Abbas Kiarostami, Shadi Gadirian and Sadegh Tirafkan are also included.

Five works in the sale are being offered on behalf of the START/Al-Madad foundation to raise funds for their various projects in the Middle East. They include works by Jaffer Khaldi, Sabhan Adam, Ayad Alkadhi, Oussama Baalbeki, and Kamal Boullata.

Mehreen Rizvi-Khursheed, Head of Middle Eastern Art at Bonhams says: “The sale will help to expose new Middle Eastern artists to Europe and global art centres by holding the auction in London. It is an opportunity for established and new collectors to acquire works by artists who are beginning to attract attention within the Middle East and abroad through internationally acclaimed shows. Our reputation for offering Modern South Asian art in London is well established and we hope to offer works by Middle Eastern artists with the same high levels of success.”