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Ninety Years of Israeli Art from the 1920's till Today at Bonhams in London
Avraham Naton (Israeli, 1906-1959), Woman on a chair. Estimate: £20,000 - 30,000. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- On the 24th May 2011, bonhams and Montefiore Auction Houses launch their inaugural sale of Israeli art in London. bonhams has teamed up with Montefiore Auction House, Tel Aviv, to offer a selection of works that covers nine decades. This auction is set to be the most comprehensive sale of Israeli art in Europe, offering private collectors a unique opportunity to invest in an expanding art market.

Giles Peppiatt, Head of Israeli Art at bonhams, says: “Interest from both private collectors and museums internationally, ensures that this event will be an exciting new venture for bonhams."

Jacob Gildor of Montefiore comments: "We have selected a mixture of Israeli artists who in some way represent Israeli Art from the 1920's until today." The auction will include six contemporary Palestinian-Israeli artists (Ahmad Canaan, Fouad Agbaria, Mahmood Kaiss, Abed Alem, Farid Abu Shakra, Salah Elkara and Fatima Shannan), and five Russian-Israelis (Yakov Feldman, Natasha Brilliantova, ZoyaCherkassky, Zopya Cherkassky and Yehuda Broitman). This is not only a reflection of the social diversity of Israel today, but also differentiates the bonham's sale from others covering this field.

Gildor says: "Art can make a bridge between cultures and people". So whilst the auction is expected to attract the attention of the local Jewish community in London, it should also garner the attention of a spectrum of international art collectors.

The sale includes works by Moshe Mokady, Ludwig Blum , Nachum Gutman and Reuven Rubin - artists who were working in Palestine in the 1920s.

Also sourced, are works by Marcel Janco (est.£100'000-150'000), Raffie Lavie (est. £4'000-6'000) and Menachem Mizrachi –art which channeled European Modernism into the formation of a new culture, reflecting the existential and ideological concerns of an emerging nation-state.

The sale includes contemporary art by Israel Hershberg (est.£90'000-100'000) anda photograph by the most acclaimed Israeli contemporary photographer-Michal Rovner, who is represented in many important collections and galleries internationally, it is titled "Outside #9", and is estimated to sell for £8,000-£10,000.

At a time when some European economies are struggling, Israeli art offers a rare investment opportunity. Prices are lower, money goes further, and the Israeli economy is doing well. Jacob Gildor argues: "Art prices in Israel are very reasonable, if not under-priced compared to the global market. Once Israeli art is under the international spotlight, this will naturally change."

In recent years, Israel's galleries have been raising their profiles at International Art Fairs, and more Israeli art is being showcased and sold online through international platforms such as Such initiative brings forward the next generation of Israeli artists by raising their visibility, their availability and so their market value.

According to Art Trustee's 2010 report on the Israeli art market, in 2008-2009, annual sales dropped by about 40%, due to the global financial crisis. However, "the results for 2010 signify a recovery as all price segments are climbing back towards their 2008 levels."

When buyers have more access to information, services and choice, a more informed and confident market is created.Israel's art scene is dynamic and competitive, indicating 2011 will be a bright and prosperous year for Israeli art on a nationaland international level.

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