Art enthusiasts in Dubai crowded Christie’s saleroom tonight to compete for the 140 art works which sold for a total of $10,648,250 (AED39,111,022), an increase of 65% on last year’s sale total*. Christie’s 16th consecutive season in the region, was the first to be held to coincide with Dubai Art Week. The Pharos Collection of Modern Egyptian Art, expected to sell for around $1.4 million, made $3,895,500. The top lot of the sale, also from the Collection, was Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar’s (Egyptian, 1925-1965)Construction of the Suez Canal which sold for $1,023,750, a new world auction record for the artist.
Michael Jeha, Christie’s Managing Director in the Middle East, said: “Christie’s dominates the market for Middle Eastern Modern and Contemporary Art with our sales accounting for 74% of the auction market. The results demonstrated the powerful combination of Christie’s continued commitment to offering the best works for sale with great provenance. By moving the date of the well-established spring sales, Christie’s added an international auction to the stellar list of art-related events taking place in Dubai this week. It is a sign of the continuing strength and maturity of this market that, as in other great art cities around the world, Dubai has taken its place in the international art calendar.”
Among the many notable records broken tonight was a Black painting by Iranian contemporary artist Ali Banisadr which sold for $339,750 (AED1,247,902).
A depiction of the Sixth Ode from the seven Arabic poems known as the Muallaqat Al Sabaa by the Ali Omar Ermes, sold for $195,750 with a proportion of the proceeds from the sale to go to UNHCR.