Art And Culture

Iranian Art Sets Record

Iranian Art Sets Record Iranian Art Sets Record

Sotheby’s sale of 20th Century Art - A Different Perspective in London on December 2 saw six new records for works of modern Iranian and Arab art.

The sale was led by Egyptian artist Mahmoud Mokhtar’s sculpture, ‘On the Banks of the Nile’ which sold for $478,000. Appearing for the first time at auction, this elegant bronze depicting an Egyptian ‘fellaha’ (peasant) collecting water was pursued by numerous bidders, driving the sale price to around ten times the low base estimate.

The auction featured a group of outstanding artists from the Middle East - innovators and influencers of their respective countries - stretching from the 1950s until the early 1980s, reports

Among the total 116 lots, works by seven contemporary Iranian artists went under the hammer.

An untitled canvas by Iranian artist Behjat Sadr, whose work featured in last year’s exhibition, Iran: Unedited History,1960-2014 at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, sold for $85,000, a new record for the artist at auction and much higher than its base price of $57,000-68,000.

An untitled work by Iranian painter and poet Sohrab Sepehri was sold for $123,000 (estimate $75,000-105,000).

The hammer price for a delicate piece of mirror work by Monir Farmanfarmaian was $66,000. The nonagenarian artist has used the reverse-glass painting style in her work ‘The Wall’.

A bronze sculpture by the painter and sculptor Bahman Mohassess titled ‘Maree Noire’ fetched $45,000.

An artwork of oil on canvas entitled ‘Tehran’ by the Iranian-Armenian painter Sirak Melkonian went for $44,000.

The untitled acrylic on canvas by Armenian-Iranian Sonia Balassanian went under the hammer for $36,000.

Two untitled works by American-Iranian painter and poet Manoucher Yektai went at bids higher than their primary estimates, for $26,500 and $21,000.

Records were set for the Moroccan artist Ahmed Ben Driss el Yacoubi, whose painting ‘The Battle of Marrakesh’ sold for $56,500 (estimate $18,000-27,000), and the Lebanese artist Helen Khal, whose untitled abstract oil fetched $71,500 (estimate $30,000-45,000).

Alongside the exceptional price for the Mokhtar, other Egyptian origin artists set new records: Mounir Canaan’s untitled (estimate $18,000-27,000), sold for $30,000 and Ezekhiel Baourkh untitled, (estimate $9,000-12,000) sold for $28,500.

Overall, the sale brought a total of $3.43 million.