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First Contemporary Middle Eastern Art Auction Announced at Artnet Auctions     
Afsoon, Stalin (Tehran Conference. Let's Play Boys), 2009. Inkjet printed collage on artist paper, 16.5 x 23.2 in. Est. US$3,500–4,500 € 2,450–3,150.
NEW YORK, N.Y.- Artnet Auctions is proud to announce the first online auction of Contemporary Middle Eastern Art. This seven day sale brings together a unique collection of artworks by both emerging and established artists from the Middle East, including Ahmad Mater, Sadegh Tirafkan, Vahid Sharifian, and Parviz Kalantari. The artworks range from outstanding photographs to sculptures and paintings by sought-after artists from countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

This unique sale is curated by Nazy Nazhand, founder of ART MIDDLE EAST, the leading platform for promoting Contemporary Art from the Middle East through specialized programming and cultural events. “As the premier online auction site, artnet has revolutionized viewing, debating, and acquiring art for a global audience with the click of a button,” Nazhand said. “This is the first auction of Middle Eastern Art on artnet Auctions. Having previously held special auctions focusing on periods and movements, including Pop Art, Design, European, 20th century, Modern, and Latin American Art, this once again confirms the leading position artnet holds at the forefront of the global art market.”

Robin Roche, director of artnet Auctions, said: “The addition of a Middle Eastern auction confirms the strength and growth of the art market in the region and the continued international interest in the works. We hope this is the beginning of many more sales in this category.”

Leading the sale is a beautiful, late work by one of Iran’s Modern masters, Parviz Kalantari. This large work, Untitled, 2009, exemplifies his raw and innovative approach to painting (Est. US$22,000–30,000). In this piece, Kalantari captures the quiet beauty and rural sophistication of his town set in the arid deserts of Iran and embraces his homeland with unique materials such as mud, straw, and soils. Also included in the auction is the only complete set of all 23 photographs in the highly regarded Queen of the Jungle (If I Had a Gun) series by Vahid Sharifian (Est. US$30,000–40,000). These works have been the subject of numerous critical reviews and the series highlights Sharifian’s range of sharp political critique and humor.

Ahmed Mater’s work is currently featured in the exhibition Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In a recent interview for LACMA, Mater, an artist and physician, told Nazhand about how his two seemingly conflicting occupations, along with life in Saudi Arabia, have influenced his art. This is evidenced in his work Evolution of Man, 2010, a gorgeous set of five screenprints signed and numbered in a cloth covered conservation portfolio (Est. US$3,500–4,500). This piece warns of the dangers of greed as each x-ray print depicts the morphing of a gas pump into a skeleton of a man holding a pistol to his head.

Two main themes run throughout Sadegh Tirafkan’s work: masculinity and identity. His work is included in such renowned institutions as the British Museum in London, the Brooklyn Museum, LACMA, and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. His work is also currently included in the exhibition Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts at LACMA. Untitled #3 (from Endless), 2009, is an exemplary artwork by Tirafkan (Est. US$8,000–12,000). The digital photo collage depicts clear influence of the macho practices of pre-Islamic zurkhaneh, or ‘house of strength,’ in which, to this day, Iranian men perform wrestling and bodybuilding exercises emulating their ancestral heroes.

The Contemporary Middle Eastern Art Sale is live for bidding on artnet Auctions from August 11 to August 18, 2011.

Highlights include:

*Vahid Sharifian (Iranian, b.1982) Untitled, (from Queen of the Jungle, If I Had a Gun), 2007–2008 23 photographs Digital prints on metallic paper Dimensions vary Ed. 2/3 Est. US$30,000–40,000

*Sadegh Tirafkan (Iranian, b.1965) Untitled #3 (from Endless), 2009 Digital photo collage 29 x 38 in. / 74 x 96 cm. Ed. 2/6 Est. US$8,000–12,000

*Parviz Kalantari (Iranian, b.1931) Untitled, 2009 Mud, straw, oil on canvas 51 x 98.5 in. / 250 x 130 cm. Est. US$22,000–30,000

*Ahmed Mater (Saudi Arabian, b.1979) Evolution of Man, 2010 5 screenprints signed and numbered in a cloth covered conservation portfolio Printed with 11 colors on 400GSM Somerset Tub paper 23.5 x 51 in. / 80 x 60 cm. (each) Ed. 56/100 Est. US$3,500–4,500

*Afsoon (Iranian, b.1961) Churchill (from Tehran Conference. Let’s Play Boys), 2010
Inkjet printed collage on artist paper 23.2 x 16.5 in. / 59 x 42 cm. Ed. 3/8 Est. US$3,500–4,500

*Afsoon Roosevelt (from Tehran Conference. Let’s Play Boys), 2009 Inkjet printed collage on artist paper 23.2 x 16.5 in. / 59 x 42 cm. Ed. 3/8 Est. US$3,500–4,500

*Afsoon
Stalin (from Tehran Conference. Let’s Play Boys), 2009 Inkjet printed collage on artist paper 23.2 x 16.5 in. / 59 x 42 cm. Ed. 3/8 Est. US$3,500–4,500

Visit the sale on artnet Auctions: http://www.artnet.com/auctions/middle-eastern-art.






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