More than 100 works of Middle Eastern art will go on sale as part of Sotheby’s upcoming 20th Century Art / Middle East online auction.
The auction includes a selection of Palestinian artworks, demonstrating the depth and of the Palestinian art scene and collective artistic discourse.
Among the most prominent of these works is Ismail Shammout’s 1972 Crucifixion, which reflects his interpretation and experience of Palestinian history. Another piece is Laila Shawa’s the Souk in Gaza, from her first solo exhibition, held in Gaza in 1965. Known for their bold colors, storytelling and depicting women in Arab society, Shawa’s early works are considered expressions of nostalgia.
For the first time, Ibrahim Noubani and Nabil Anani, among the leading figures of the contemporary art movement, take part in the auction this year.
From the Emirates, the auction includes a conceptual piece by Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim. The Sharjah Art Foundation hosted a retrospective exhibition for the artist in 2018, and he was chosen to represent the UAE at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. The auction also includes his piece Bouquet, a 2018 cardboard sculpture.
The Moroccan modernist pioneer Mohamed Melehi’s work blends a vibrant postmodern aesthetic with Moroccan Berber crafts’ cultural richness. An internationally acclaimed painting by the artist set a new record at the auction where it was sold for £399,000 as part of a Sotheby’s online auction in March. Melehi’s work is currently on display at two exhibitions, the Alserkal Avenue in Dubai and the Cromwell Place in London.
Huguette Caland, considered among Lebanon’s most influential female figures, also features her work. Her jejune impressionist works are brimming with her appetite for life and adventure. Believed to the only daughter of Bechara El Khoury, the first president of Lebanon after it gained its independence, her bold character is nonetheless captured in her work, which explores the delicate balance between the suggestive and explicit and traditionalism’s challenges to beauty and desire.