Art Around The World



Auctions in Dubai

22 March 2018 Middle Eastern Modern & Contemporary Art

23 March 2018 Important Watches

Public Viewing in Dubai

19 to 23 March 2018

Looking ahead to Dubai’s seventh Art Week from March 18-24, 2017, the seasoned Christie’s Middle East team of art specialists, led by Michael Jeha, Managing Director and Hala Khayat, Director and Head of Sale, deliver their predictions for the continued development of the region’s art market.

Michael Jeha, who celebrates 20 years at Christie’s in 2018, and who has overseen Christie’s Middle East since its 2005 office opening in Dubai, stated:

“Our annual sale in the region is a cornerstone of Dubai Art Week and in our 13th year of sales in the Middle East, we are seeing considerable maturity both in the quality of works offered, especially by the region’s modern masters, and the discerning tastes of collectors, who appreciate the choice of works available and continue to pursue the most rare and outstanding pieces.”

Hala Khayat, Director and Head of Sale marking a decade of consigning works for Christie’s sales in Dubai, commented: “During the last 10 years of working with Christie’s Middle East, I have seen a very real transformation in the status of the artists, the consistent attention their art attracts from a regional and international group of committed collectors, and the growing awareness and appreciation of a thriving culture sector, of which Christie’s is a key part. Further access and education is critical to the future of the region, and Christie’s fosters this through our annual exhibition and sale as well as lecture programmes, sponsorship and our own education initiatives (including an online course ‘Inside the Global Contemporary Art World’ offered in Arabic).”

Both Jeha and Khayat underscored the need for increased research and reference materials on artists from the Middle East, including books and catalogues, and highlighted the importance of authenticating works from artists’ estates to enhance the existing confidence in the regional art market.

“The demand for quality modern art from the Middle East has made it increasingly scarce, and Christie’s will continue to focus on finding and delivering these works to collections in both our Dubai and London sales. In 2018 and beyond, we would like to see a commensurate increase in the quality of contemporary works coming to auction so that the market for these becomes more varied and sustainable both regionally and internationally during the next decade. Further growth in the number of regional galleries will also enhance future prospects for artists and collectors,” added Jeha.

In 2017, Christie’s moved its regular October sale from Dubai to London at the firm’s headquarters during the prestigious Frieze Week in London. The sale achieved a total of $6,863,249 with sell-through rates of 85% by lot and 88% by value. Registered bidders from 23 countries confirmed the international appetite for works from the region. The sale was led by a world auction record for the Iraqi artist Jewad Selim, whose painting The Watermelon Seller sold for £668,750 ($876,731), more than double its high pre-sale estimate of £250,000.

The next sale of Middle Eastern Modern and Contemporary Art will be held at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel on Thursday, March 22 at 7pm with the public exhibition open every day from Monday, March 19. As ever will the auction present works by Iranian, Turkish, Lebanese, Egyptian, Syrian, Iraqi, Palestinian artists, to name a few.

Ahmed Badry


19 April - 17 June 2018

Beirut based Letitia Gallery is hosting a solo exhibition by the Egyptian conceptual artist Ahmed Badry, whose characteristic sculptures and drawings investigate relationships with familiar objects in order to question their functionality and place in the everyday. Portmanteau will bring together a selection of new and previously seen mixed media works, including six sculptures ranging in size from 50cm to 3.5m, two of which will incorporate 3D printed objects, video and projection.

The exhibition is an extension of Badry’s previous work, which sought to transform our perception of everyday objects through the manipulation of scale and context, and re-examining the role of the omnipresent object within society. The work offers insight into the artist’s in-depth research into non-codified objects through a reinterpretation of them in relation to language. By upscaling a bus ticket, a tool or a piece of packaging to epic proportion, Badry magnifies the object’s intent and makes the banal unavoidable.

Within Potmanteau, Badry has sought to collaborate with artists, writers and linguists in order to explore multiple ways of deconstructing language through the process of naming. The title alludes to the composite objects created by Badry that exist solely as symbols of the potential of their function. A battery drill connected to a can opener, viewed as a whole, does not exist within the current global vernacular. Badry aims to understand and define these objects through naming and assigning function, and in doing so, create something new, essentially bringing the object from a non-verbal hinterland between existence and being assigned relevance to society.