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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Bonhams to Offer Abdur Rahman Chughtai Picture at Auction

Bonhams next sale in Dubai of notable artists from the Arab world, and Iran, India and Pakistan Dubai sale will be held on the 12th October.

Abdur-Rahman-ChughtaiOne of the highlights is a watercolour by Pakistani artist Abdur Rahman Chughtai. Pride of the East is one of the most important works by the artist to appear on the market in recent years and it is accompanied by impeccable provenance. Consigned by a private French collector, it was acquired from the personal collection of Walter Scheel, the former President of West Germany. The painting was presented to him on a state visit to Bonn in 1976 by the artist’s son Arif Rahman Chughtai. A wonderful photograph of the moment of presentation was provided by the vendor which will be displayed in the sale catalogue.

Works by eminent Arab artists such as Louai Kayyali, Paul Guiragossian and Seif Wanly will be offered alongside important pieces by Iranian masters Faramarz Pilaram, C.H. Zenderoudi and Massoud Arabshahi. Also in the sale is a group of works belonging to private collectors in the USA, including pieces by notable Iranian artists Marcos Grigorian and Sirak Melkonian. The collections include interesting examples of the artists’ works in various media including collage pieces, not seen at auction before.

An important aspect of the sale will be the collaboration with the charity START/Al-Madad, which provides art education and opportunities to underprivileged children in the Middle East. This will be the second time Bonhams have worked with START, following the collaboration in London in June when the sale of several works of art by Middle Eastern artists generated $45,000 for the charity. Bonhams will once again be offering works on behalf of START in the Dubai sale.

Bonhams has been increasing its influence in the Middle East art scene since its landmark auction in Dubai in March 2008. Since then the company’s horizons have broadened to included working with local charities and staging events in which our international specialists have advised clients on how to establish and nurture collections ranging from contemporary art to classic cars. Mehreen Rizvi Head of South Asian and Middle East Art at Bonhams says: “The last ten months have seen many important works of art offered at auction at extremely attractive prices. The market is quickly finding its feet again. Bonhams strategy of offering high quality works at attractive estimates has helped to ensure and strengthen our position in the market at a time when the contemporary art markets have stumbled.”

Bonhams upcoming sale of Modern & Contemporary Middle Eastern & South Asian Art will be held once more in the luxurious setting of the Royal Mirage Hotel in Dubai. The sale will be Bonhams fourth in the region following the inaugural Orientalist sale, which took place in May this year. The sale was the first foray into the Dubai Orientalist market by any European auction house in recent years, and produced numerous highlights.

The upcoming sale will be Bonhams second offering of Middle Eastern and South Asian Art this year. In June Bonhams held their first dedicated auction at their New Bond Street salerooms in which there were a number of high quality pieces from some of the premier names in the Middle Eastern and South Asian art worlds. The pre-sale function featured a ‘collector’s talk’, chaired by renowned writer on art Judith Greer, in which Tariq Al-Jaidah and Mohammed Afkhami discussed the ins and outs of collecting contemporary art. This fascinating discussion proved to a popular accompaniment to the sale in which 71% of the works by Middle Eastern and Iranian artists were sold. The auction not only helped to increase the media coverage of Middle Eastern art events in London, but also brought many Middle Eastern artists to the attention of a greater international audience.