Sotheby’s has announced an auction of contemporary art in Doha at 7pm on April 22, comprising a selection of top-calibre works by leading Arab and Iranian artists as well as international contemporary artists.

Outstanding examples of painting, installation art, photography and sculpture will be offered for sale, prior to which a highlights exhibition will be open to the public from today until April 22. The auction, which is expected to raise in excess of $11mn, will feature 40 modern and contemporary works of Middle Eastern origin and seven international contemporary pieces.

Both the public exhibition and the sale will be held at Katara building 5. Lina Lazaar Jameel, Sotheby’s international contemporary art specialist, said: “The sale presents exemplary works by extremely important artists. We have toured a number of highlights to both Jeddah and Dubai in order to enable our clients across the region to preview the works, and it is also a priority for us to now publicly showcase the works and offer a range of educational events in Doha prior to the auction.”

Among the modern and contemporary Arab and Iranian art highlights are works by Ayman Baalbaki, Julie Mehretu and Chant Avedissian, while the offering of international contemporary art includes the creations of Ai Weiwei and Subodh Gupta.

One of the works is Avedissian’s Icons of the Nile. Created in 2010, this gouache, hand-coloured stencil, gold and silver acrylic paint on cardboard, in 120 parts, is the largest piece the artist has created till date (estimated $1,000,000-1,500,000).

Prominent among the group of works to be offered is a series of paintings by influential Iranian artist Mohamed Ehsai, titled Eshgh (Love) and dated 2012 (estimated $300,000-400,000). Throughout his career, Ehsai has pushed aesthetic boundaries, creating innovative art that has inspired an entire younger generation of contemporary Iranian artists.

Ya’illahi (Dear Lord) is one of the most important paintings to ever come to auction by Baalbaki (estimated $100,000-150,000). Depicting the shrouded face of a lone, heroic figure gazing up to the skies, the work was created in 2008 in acrylic and gold leaf on panel with brass frame and light bulbs.

The cover lot for the sale is a work by Ethiopian-born Mehretu, titled Rising Down (estimated $2-3mn). Executed in 2008 in ink and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, it is one of the most visually arresting works ever produced by the artist.

Among the international contemporary works to be offered is Pink Chimta, an example of Gupta’s celebration of everyday domestic objects to an artistic plane (estimated $400,000-600,000). The 30 glass jars in Weiwei’s work Dust to Dust contain tiny fragments of Neolithic  pots that have survived the vicissitudes of fate for around 5,000 - a reinvention of the archaeological relics of China’s past (estimated $550,000-750,000).

Other international contemporary works of art to be offered in the sale include those by Rudolf Stingel, Donald Judd and Damien Hirst.




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