Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Middle Eastern art sales: A focus on art from the Middle East

“Lîle Heureuse,” Mahmoud Said (Egypt, 1897-1964), Oil on wood, 80 x 70cm (31 1/2 x 27 9/16in). Sold for £ 1,202,500 inc. premium (Courtesy of Bonhams)
In today’s crowded academic and commercial art world, there are few areas of expertise left where a budding young art historian or gallerist can still carve out a niche. But terra incognita does exist, though you’ll need to get your skates on. Potentially the most rewarding territory has been hiding in plain sight: the Middle East. Masa Al Kutoubi from Christie’s observes that: “The Middle-Eastern secondary market is still very new and in some ways uncharted territory. There are so many artists we don’t know about.” Discovering them, documenting them and fitting them into a coherent scholarly and auction narrative will determine whether the region’s art resumes its upwards trajectory. [More]