Christie's, in collaboration with Katara, presented a selection of nineteen Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish works of Art by established and emerging artists. The exhibition took place in Katara Cultural Village in Doha, Qatar on March 23 and 24, 2012.

The exhibition included works by Ahmed Alsoudani, the internationally renowned Iraqi artist, Mahmoud Saïd, also known as the father of modern Egyptian art, and Ayman Baalbaki among other prominent artists' works. Other artworks include those by artists Jewad Selim, Louay Kayyali, Mohammad Ehsai, Parviz Tanavoli and Nasrollah Afjehei and Turkish artist Burhan Cahit Doğançay.

Untitled by Ahmed Alsoudani

“With such an impressive group of established artists exhibited alongside some new emerging artists, Qatari collectors and art enthusiasts will have a fantastic opportunity to see the past, present and future talent among the artists of the Middle East and Turkey. With each season that passes we see increasing interest from international collectors in the leading artists of the region and a fast growing engagement with a wider and younger audience for contemporary Middle Eastern works of art,” said Michael Jeha, Managing Director of Christie’s Middle East.

The exhibition, which was open to the public, was accompanied by a special education program, led by Christie’s specialists and Christie’s Education. The program included a "Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art" tour, an "Islamic Art" tour, lectures about "The Language of Art", "The Structure of the Art World" and "Art as Investment".

Of the artworks included in the exhibition, Ahmed Alsoudani's painting was the highest valued. The contemporary Iraqi artist had already set a world record for himself when his artwork, Baghdad I, sold for $1.1 million at a Christie’s auction in London in October of 2011. The piece in the exhibition, Untitled, is currently valued at $300,000-500,000 and portrays a disfigured face (of a dictator) and colorful forms all around, which he painted in 2008.

Mahmoud Saïd’s painting is part of a private collection from an Egyptian collector. It hasn't been seen in public for years, and shows a woman and donkeys beside the Nile. In 2010, Christie’s sold a work by Mahmoud Saïd, titled The Whirling Dervishes, for $2.5 million from the collection of Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi. It is the artist's highest recorded price.

In Transit V by Abdulnasser Gharem

Saudi Arabian artist Abdulnasser Gharem’s In Transit V (from the Restored Behaviour series), shows a jumbo jet lifting off and painted using a beautiful mosaic technique. The painting is valued at an estimated $30,000-50,000 and was previously shown in last year's Edge of Arabia's exhibition in Dubai.

Lebanese artist Ayman Baalbaki, contemporary piece entitled Yuk, Cupboard valued at an estimated $80,000-120,000, is a canvas framed with an antique wooden cupboard. The artwork includes portraits, symbols, calligraphy and floral motifs.

The late Iraqi artist Jewad Selim's painting Back Gardens – Camden Town, is reminiscent of his days as a student in London. The artist, who studied at the Slade School of Art in London, returned to Iraq and founded the Baghdad Group for Modern Art in 1951.

Turkish artist Burhan Cahit Doğançay’s Untitled is considered an important part of the exhibition. The abstract piece, which involves splashes of color, is estimated at $120,000-150,000.

The North Carolina Museum of Art sold two works by late Lebanese artist Saliba Douaihy, including the painting Regeneration, to benefit their acquisitions fund. Douaihy, who lived and worked most of his life in New York, had held a solo exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art in 1978. The works in the exhibition are very simple colorful abstract ones, typical of his work in the 60s and 70s.

– Khaleejesque Staff

Images courtesy of Katara

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