19 Artworks From Abraaj Group To Be Auctioned This Evening At Third Christie's Middle Eastern Art Sale

BY Harper's BAZAAR Art / Oct 23 2019 / 11:56 AM

Approximately 90 Middle Eastern art works have been sourced from around the world for Christie's Middle Eastern Modern & Contemporary Art sale in London

19 Artworks From Abraaj Group To Be Auctioned This Evening At Third Christie's Middle Eastern Art Sale
Courtesy of Christie's
Hadieh Shafie. Untitled. 2018. Ink, acrylic and paper. (est. £50,000-70,000)

The third Christie’s Middle Eastern Modern & Contemporary Art sale will take place this evening as part of Islamic Art Week in London. “We are very excited for the third year to take place once again - we brought works that we found in our travels in the last few months from Italy to Los Angeles to Perth in Australia,” says Hala Khayat, Christie’s Director and Head of Sale in the Middle East.

“The week is building up to be full of events, from a behind-the-scenes press conference to a visit to a contemporary Arab artist art show, a book launch, a lecture, reception and private events with our top clients.”


Louay Kayyali. Portrait of Umayma Hussein Ibish. 
1962. (est. £30,000-50,000)

Courtesy of Christie's

Approximately 90 Middle Eastern art works have been sourced from around the world – from New York, London and Paris to Beirut and Dubai. With a special focus on contemporary Iranian and Arab works, the sale shed light on artists from around the region including Syrian artist Louay Kayyali, Iranian artist Manoucher Yektai and Lebanense artist Bibi Zogbé.

“The works on offer vary between the modern masters of the Levant - Paul Guiragossian, Shafic Abboud, Ismail Shammout Fateh Moudarres and Louay Kayyali alongside Iranian works by sohrab Sepehri and Mohammad Ehsai,” says Khayat. “[There is] also an exciting, very fresh section on contemporary Palestinian works which I am happy to introduce to a new audience.”


Sohrab Sepehri, Untitled. (est. £70,000-100,000)

Courtesy of Christie's

Five works by Palestinian artist Ismail Shammout are also on offer including a work entitled The Way (1964), which has previously been exhibited at Berlin-based National Galerie in the seventies, as well as other works from the Tall Al Zaater series.

Also of note is Louay Kayyali’s Portrait of Umayma Hussein Ibish (1962), depicting femininity and estimated at £30,000 - 50,000 (Dhs 134,663 - 224,438).

Untitled by Iranian artist Sohrab Sepehri has been sourced from a private collection in Dubai with an estimate of £70,000 - 100,000 (Dhs 314,224 - 448,892). A combination of abstraction and minimalism with Eastern and Western influences, the work symbolises the beauty of nature and forests.

Nineteen artworks worth $1.94 million (Dhs 7,125,329), that were once owned by private equity firm The Abraaj Group, are also being auctioned at Christie's. One of the works is by Alexandrian judge and modern painter Mahmoud Sa'id estimated at £250,000 (Dhs 1,180,821). Other featured artists include late Syrian modernist Fateh Moudarres and French artist Kader Attia. Works from the collection are said to make up approximately a third of the entire sale (worth around £4.3 million/Dhs 20,310,678).

The ex-head of Abraaj Group Arif Naqvi has reportedly refused to comment on the sale. 

Christie’s third ‘Middle Eastern Modern & Contemporary Art’ auction will take place 23 October 2019 in London with a viewing from 19-23 October at Christie’s 8 King Street in London