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Sotheby's London Sale of Contemporary Turkish Art Realises Total of £2.3 Million
Sotheby's employee Frederica Previte poses for photographs in front of the Burhan Dogancay piece "Whispering Wall II" at the auction house's premises in London. The piece was estimated to fetch 120,000 to 180,000 pounds ($192,100 to $288,000, 136,000 to 204,100 euro) at Sotheby's London Sale of Contemporary Turkish Art in London on April 7. The work sold for £277,250 ($451,807). AP Photo/Matt Dunham.

LONDON.- Sotheby’s Sale of Contemporary Turkish Art today achieved a total of £2,332,175 ($3,800,512), within pre-sale expectations (est. £2-3 million). The auction established sell-through rates of 65.7% by lot and 75.4% by value, and set 13 new artist records and 8 benchmarks for artists new to auction.

Commenting on the results of the auction, Elif Bayoglu, Head of the Contemporary Turkish Art Sale, said: “Overall, we are pleased with the results of today’s sale which are in line with what we achieved this time last year, demonstrating the continued strength of this segment of the art market. Pre-auction interest in both Turkey and London was strong, and buyers today came from across the globe: North America, Middle East, Continental Europe, the UK and of course Turkey . We also established new auction records for 13 artists and 8 benchmarks were also set for artists new to auction.”

The auction was highlighted by the sale of Burhan Dogancay’s acrylic on canvas Whispering Wall II, which saw competition from four bidders, finally selling to a bidder in the saleroom for the double-estimate sum of £275,250 ($451,807) (est. £120,000-180,000). The work offered is an exceptionally rare piece by the artist, which he executed in 1985. In the early 1960s Dogançay turned his attention to the urban walls which bore witness to the emotions and opinions of the people during a time of drastic political and social changes. With his Ribbons series, this time he looked upon his own cultural roots and his Eastern background and Western life which came together to create this striking new series.

Another top-selling lot was 1879, executed in 2011, from hyperrealist painter Taner Ceylan’s Lost Painting Series. This extraordinary masterwork saw competition from bidders both in the saleroom and on the telephones, finally selling to a round of applause to a buyer on the telephone for £229,250 ($373,586) against a pre-sale estimate of £50,000-70,000. The painting tackles questions of history and Orientalism and contrasts different but also connected histories of artistic definitions to rethink concepts of Orientalism, femininity, the veil and the gaze.

The Daniel Gervis Collection, comprised of an important group of paintings by Mubin Orhon, brought a total of £338,500 ($551,620). Purchased directly from the artist and kept in the same collection for over fifty years, this group of paintings presented a rare opportunity to acquire exceptional works of art by one of the highest esteemed modern artists in history. The effects of Eastern Philosophy and Mysticism are inherent in his paintings, bearing witness to his absolute concentration and devotion to create the most powerful compositions with a musical serenity.

Mubin Orhon’s Untitled, dated 1963, which realised the within estimate sum of £241,250 (lot 60, est. £200,000-300,000), headlined the collection and is an outstanding and extremely rare work from the artist’s Hommage à Delacroix series. Orhon begun the series in 1963 after receiving an invitation to exhibit his work at a group show curated by Raoul-Jean Moulin in Paris. Orhon’s Untitled - characterised by the absence of any area not filled with the artist’s layered, sensual brushstroke - dated 1962, sold for £97,250, in excess of its low estimate (lot 59, est. £80,000-120,000).

A further work by Burhan Dogancay, also performed very well. The artist’s acrylic on canvas Untitled, 1977, sold for £151,250 ($246,477), well above pre-sale expectations (est. £50,000-70,000).

The price achieved of £61,250 for Ramazan Bayrakoglu’s satin and embroidery on canvas Untitled set a new record for the artist at auction - smashing the previous record by more than £30,000 - and is more than five times pre-sale expectations (est. £12,000—18,000). Painstakingly building up these images with embroidery on coloured satin, Ramazan Bayrakoglu transfers photo-realistic portraits onto the cloth and creates a topography of needlework across its surface. Trained as a painter, Bayrakoglu developed this distinct methodology out of his early paintings, fusing elements of design, craftwork and painting.

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