Christie’s announce the second edition of its Dubai online platform, Modern and Contemporary Art – Dubai, live for bidding from 9 – 23 May, celebrating cross-cultural dialogues between modern and contemporary artists from the Middle East and the wider Global South, reflecting the region’s diverse and ever-evolving cultural environment.

In addition to works of art from the Middle East the demand for a wider representation of artists by collectors from the region has reshaped the sale to encompass artists from Africa, Latin America and South Asia. Works included span painting, sculpture, photography and works on paper from the 1950s – 2020s.  The sale comprises approximately 90 artworks by artists from 20 countries, including Algeria, Benin, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Trinidad, Tunisia, Turkey and the UAE.

The leading lot of the sale is a rare pre-revolution work by Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (1922, Qazvin – 2019 Tehran), Untitled, 1974.


One of the most prominent Iranian artists of the contemporary period, Farmanfarmaian ingeniously fused geometric patterns and cut-glass mosaic techniques of her Iranian heritage with the rhythms of modern Western geometric abstraction.

Highlights – Middle East & North Africa

The sale pays tribute to the rich artistic heritage of the Middle East and North Africa with significant works by modern masters including Dia al-Azzawi, Marwan, Paul Guiragossian, Abdul Halim Radwi and Bahman Mohasses. Dia al-Azzawi’s (b. 1939, Baghdad), Red Landscape no. 1, (estimate US$25,000-35,000) dates from the 1990s. Trips to Morocco renewed the artist’s interest in the decorative arts from the Arab world and his colour palette took on the bright and intense colours of Bedouin textiles.

Dia al-Azzawi’s. Red Landscape no. 1

The sale also includes modern and contemporary luminaries from North Africa such as Ahmed Cherkaoui, Abdallah Benanteur, Kader Attia and Hassan Hajjaj. A highlight in this section is a late ‘wave’ painting by Moroccan Mohamed Melehi (1936, Asilah – 2020, Boulogne-Billancourt), Moucharabieh, Blue on Black, (estimate US$ 40,000-60,000), painted and exhibited in the artist’s final year. Melehi was professor at the Casablanca Art School and played a pivotal role in establishing a pioneering postcolonial arts movement in Morocco. His works prominently feature in The Casablanca Art School Platforms and Patterns for a Postcolonial Avant-Garde (1962-1987) exhibition, previously at Tate St Ives and currently on view at the Sharjah Art Foundation.

Mohamed Melehi. Moucharabieh, Blue on Black

The Gulf region is another focus of the sale with works by pre-eminent Saudi Arabian artists Ahmed Mater and Manal Al Dowayan as well as emerging photographic talent Reem Al Faisal and Shaweesh. My Garden’s Details No. 3  painted in 2021, (estimate US$ 25,000-35,000) by Emirati contemporary artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim (b. 1962, Khor Fakkan) is included alongside works on paper by Hassan Sharif and Mohammed Kazem. All three artists were part of the first generation of Emirati contemporary avant-garde artists who paved the way for the vibrant cultural landscape of the UAE today, while Ibrahim’s works are inspired by a lifelong relationship with Khor Fakkan. With the Gulf of Oman on one side and the Hajar Mountains on the other, the artist’s deep connection to his local environment has resulted in a distinct visual language informed by the rugged shapes and changing formations of the landscape.  

Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim. My Garden’s Details No. 3

Highlights – Leading Female Artists

Alongside the masterpiece by Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarnaian, the sale has strong female representation with paintings and works on paper by Lebanese modernists including Etel Adnan, Juliana Seraphim and Helen Khal. Untitled by Helen Khal (1923, Allentown – 2009, Ajaltoun), (estimate US$30,000-40,000), is a prime example of the artist’s abstract oeuvre painted in the early 1980’s.

Helen Khal. Untitled

Other sought-after modern and rising contemporary female talent featured are Turkish Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901, Buyukada – 1991, Amman) with a remarkable set of two works on paper from circa 1950-1959, Untitled (Blue and Pink composition), (estimate US$ 15,000-25,000), and paintings by Palestinian Laila Shawa and Iranian-American Tala Madani.

Fahrelnissa Zeid. Untitled (Blue and Pink composition)

Another highlight of the sale is a sculptural work by contemporary Saudi Arabian artist Manal Al Dowayan, (b. 1973, Dhahran), Suspended Together, executed in 2011, (estimate US$5,000-7,000). Al Dowayan is one of the leading contemporary voices of Saudi Arabia and is representing KSA at this year’s Venice Biennale. The sculpture is a porcelain edition created alongside the artist’s celebrated installation titled Suspended Together of a flock of 200 doves displayed at the Venice Biennale in 2011.

Manal Al Dowayan. Suspended Together

Highlights – Global South

This season’s sale presents artworks from beyond the Middle East for the first time, including works by artists from Columbia, Pakistan, Trinidad, the Republic of Benin and The Ivory Coast, demonstrating shared ideas across borders and experiments into figuration, abstraction and materiality. (Illustrated below left) Salman Toor (b. 1983, Lahore) Untitled, painted circa 2002, (estimate US$15,000-25,000). (Illustrated below right), Oscar Murillo (b. 1986, Valle del Cauca), Movement and Rhythm Between One Place and Another #6, executed in 2013, (estimate US$60,000-80,000). (Illustrated below centre), Aboudia, (b. 1983, Abidjan) Untitled, painted in 2014, (estimate US$ 35,000-55,000). 

Dr Ridha Moumni, Chairman, Middle East & Africa comments, ‘I am delighted to see that this season’s sale includes a strong representation from the Global South, showcasing extraordinary talent that is capturing attention of collectors beyond the growing market for Arab art. While Venice celebrated under represented art communities, we embrace the opportunity to reflect on the rich diversity of the global art scene and also proudly commemorate the artistry of female artists of the Middle East’.

This season’s sale showcases a truly global focus, celebrating connections and conversations between modern masters and contemporary luminaries from the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Latin America and shedding light on overlooked and underrepresented artists. I am particularly pleased to have strong female representation in the sale with artworks by leading modernists and rising contemporary voices such as Etel Adnan, Fahrelnissa Zeid and Manal Al Dowayan. These are part of a larger group of artists that were featured in this year’s 60th edition of the Venice Biennale, reflecting the shifts in the wider art world.

Marie-Claire Thijsen, Head of Sale, Modern and Contemporary Art – Dubai

About Christie’s 

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business with a physical presence in 46 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, and flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. Renowned and trusted for our expert live and online-only auctions, as well as bespoke Private Sales, Christie’s unparalleled network of specialists offers our clients a full portfolio of global services, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $500 to over $100 million. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction, launched the first fully on-chain auction platform dedicated to exceptional NFT art and manages an investment fund to support innovative startups in the art market. Christie’s is also committed to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide. To learn more, browse, bid, discover, and join for the best of art and luxury at or by downloading Christie’s apps.  

An exhibition of highlights will be on view at Christie’s Dubai from 18 – 23 May.

The sale will go live online for bidding on 9 May. To view the sale please click here.