Egyptian artworks grab attention at Christie's London

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Fri, 03 May 2019 - 12:30 GMT

Ramsès Younan (Egyptian, 1913-1966) ‘Contre le mur’

Ramsès Younan (Egyptian, 1913-1966) ‘Contre le mur’

CAIRO - 3 May 2019: Underscoring the vital role that Egyptian art plays in the regional and global landscape, both Christie’s London and Christie’s Middle East are reaffirming the continued appeal of artworks from Egypt to private and institutional collectors around the globe.

Christie’s will host a panel discussion on Egypt’s Creative Journey: Ancient, Modern & Contemporary, featuring Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, founder of Art D’Egypte; Omniya el Barr, researcher at the V&A; and Ramzy Dalloul, collector and founder of Dalloul Art Foundation. Supported by the British Council, the presentation is taking place on Tuesday, 7 May at Christie’s, King Street, London.

Following the success of Christie’s Dubai sale in March, its art specialists are presently consigning works for the next auction of art from the Middle East, including works from Egypt’s masters.

The most recent sale season highlighted the demand for Egyptian art through a number of key works. Ramsès Younan (Egyptian, 1913-1966) ‘Contre le mur’, from the private collection of the family of the late artist, fetched $387,500 from a pre-sale estimate of $100,000 - 150,000.

A leading figure and founding member of the ‘Art and Freedom’ society, noted as a painter, essayist, critic and translator, whose motto ‘Long Live Degenerate Art’ was defined in his ground-breaking manifesto in 1938, Younan’s ‘Contre le Mur’ stands out as a unique and important Surrealist work of the artist.

Also, Abdel Hadi El-Gazzar’s rare preparatory yet very complete charcoal sketch ‘world of love’, 1952, was sold for $112,500 in the March 2019 Dubai auction. El-Gazzar’s work personified the universal subject of love to its Egyptian context with the inclusion of symbols and additional details to place the scene in a purely local Egyptian narrative.

Since 2010, six works sold from Egyptian artists achieved world sales records and international acclaim.

Other noteworthy global records for Egyptian artworks sold at auction in the last decade include Hamed Nada’s ‘Henna Eve’, which sold for $602,500 in 2010. In the same year, Mahmoud Said’s ‘The Whirling Dervishes’ sold for $2,546,500, setting a world record for Middle Eastern art. 2014 and 2015 witnessed the sale of Abdul Hadi El Gazzar’s ‘Construction of the Suez Canal’ for $1,023,750 and Tahia Halim’s ‘Farhat Al Nuba’ for $749,000, respectively. Hamed Ewais’s ‘Al Aabour’ sold at Christie’s for $605,000 in 2016, significantly exceeding expectations.

“Egyptian artists have been consistently fetching record prices at Christie’s, highlighting the continued demand for works by these modern masters. The forthcoming discussion at Christie’s London on the evolution of Egypt’s arts landscape demonstrates the increasing global interest in artworks from this vibrant market, from antiquities to contemporary pieces,” said Hala Khayat, Christie’s Director and Head of Sale in the Middle East.

Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service, expertise and global reach. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful.

Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more.

Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.

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