Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales.

Christie’s live auction of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art (Part 1) in London, together with theModern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art (Part 2) Online sale realised a combined total of £2,844,500 / $3,231,456 with strong sell-through rates of 82% by lot and 96% by value. This is the sixth year the autumn auction has been offered in London and the results re-enforce the demand for quality works of art from the Middle East, Levant, Egypt and North Africa. The top lot of the sale was by Ali Banisadr (Iranian, b. 1976) Broken Land, which sold for £415,800 against a low estimate of £250,000. A new world auction record was set for Kamal Boullata (Palestinian 1942-2019), when Angelus II-I sold for £25,200.

The two auctions attracted bidders from 15 countries, with top lots being bought by clients from America, France, UAE and the UK. Furthermore, the international reach of the category and global appreciation for art from the Middle East was underlined by 25% new client participation in these sales.

We are delighted to have hosted the first live sale of Modern & Contemporary Art from the Middle East at Christie’s King Street since 2019, to a room full of clients, old and new alike. With lots of active bidding online, via the phones and in the room, I was particularly happy to see a world record set for Kamal Boullata at £25,200 and a live sale total of £2,191,140.

Meagan Kelly Horsman, Managing Director Christie’s Middle East 

Suzy Sikorski, Specialist Middle Eastern Art continued: “This season we had a fresh focus on Middle Eastern contemporary art, attracting interest across both international and Middle Eastern clients, and benefited from viewings during our 20/21 Art London Marquee week and Dubai touring highlights. Leading the live and online sales were US based artists, Ali Banisadr, selling at £415,800, and Hayv Kahraman at £94,500, with new world records for Ali Cherri, Hazem Harb and YZ Kami, all coinciding with leading international institutional and gallery shows for these artists.“

Dr Ridha Moumni, Deputy Chairman Christie’s Middle East concluded: “This year, Christie’s presented a quality of artworks reflecting the diversity and creativity of the Middle East. We are delighted with the success of the sale and the acquisition by both private collectors and institutions from the curated selection that included significant works from Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Maghrib. We will ensure significant upcoming sales of modern and contemporary artworks and develop the category to meet the growing interest in the art of the region, regionally and internationally.”

Sale highlights included:

  • Two works by Egyptian master Mahmoud Saïd, offered in the live auction at Christie’s on 2 November; a 1948 seascape entitled Les falaises-la baie à Marsa Matrouh (esquisse) which the artist gifted to his niece Queen Farida in the late 1940s, estimated at £70,000-100,000, selling for £157,500, and a 1919 work Le Nil à Louxor (Chadouf), which achieved £60,480. 
  • Other works by modern masters to name are Paysage by Etel Adnan (Lebanese, 1925-2021), selling for £138,600 and No.224 by Samia Halaby (Palestinian, b. 1936) selling for £189,000.

Highlights from the Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art (Part 2) Online Sale include:

  • Hayv Kahraman (Iraqi, b. 1981), The Interpreter, sold for £94,500
  • Chant Avedissian (Egyptian, 1951-2018), Icons of the Nile I sold for £75,600
  • Hazem Harb (Palestinian, b.1980), Hollyland, sold for £32,760
  • YZ Kami (Iranian, b. 1956), Untitled, sold for £16,380
Top lot of the auctions: Ali Banisadr (Iranian, b. 1976), Broken Land, 2015, achieving £415,800

New World auction records established:

  • Kamal Boullata (Palestinian, 1942-2019), Angelus II-Isold for £25,200
  • Hedi Turki (Tunisian, 1922-2019), Plaine Fertile sold for £25,200
  • Ahmed Mater (Saudi Arabian, b. 1070), Evolution of Men, sold for £100,800 
  • Ali Cherri (Lebanese, b. 1976), Egyptology 2, sold for £22,680
  • Hazem Harb (Palestinian, b. 1980), Hollyland, sold for £32,760
  • YZ Kami (Iranian, b. 1956), Untitled, sold for £16,380

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie’s is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats.

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

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