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Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern masterpieces for sale at Bonhams in London
Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (Iran, born 1937)SECONDS-BEHTARIN-SECONDS, 1978. Estimate: £80,000-120,000,

LONDON.- Bonhams second sale this year of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art in London on October 7th features a variety of masterpieces from across the region.

Building on the success of the April sale, which saw 86% of lots sold by value and featured buyers from over 12 different countries, Bonhams continues its strategy of broadening the market by presenting a carefully curated selection of works from the regions standout artists to a growing international audience.

The October sale is led by two extraordinary works from Iran’s most celebrated modern artists, Sohrab Sepehri and Bahman Mohasses; the works come from the collection of perhaps the most lauded scholars of Iranian studies, Dr EhsanYarshater, (Hagop Kevorkian Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Columbia University)and are sold to benefit of one of the most ambitious academic projects undertaken in the field of Middle Eastern studies this century, Encyclopaedia Iranica.

Sepehris’ “Hanging Clothes”, at 55,000-100,000 GBP is a quintessential statement of the artists two great impulses: astrong love for the vernacular of his native Kashan and the more opaque abstraction inherited from the Eastern painting traditions he was so fluently versed in. Mohasses’ “Apparition”, is an early example of the artist’s abstract work, and remains as an incredibly rare example of Mohasses expressing his artistic freedom with fluid and unrestrained creativity.

After selling Jewad Selim’s “Nalini” in April for £170,000 against a low estimate of £50,000, Bonhams unveil “Salome”, executed when Selim was in his late teens, Salome is an example from a period of Selim’s life from which very few works survive. Subtle, refined and demure, Selim’s approach to the famed Biblical temptress is pensive and inward, and demonstrates the extraordinary artistic vision he had honed at such a young age.

Charles Hossein Zenderoudi’s “SECONDS-BEHTARIN-SECONDS” a 1978 work estimated at £80,000-120,000,LouayKayyali’s emblematic “Seated Man” at £40,000-60,000, and Adam Henein’s “Fatma”, the first sculpture the artist executed shortly after graduating from Cairo's Academy of Fine Arts in 1953, also rank amongst the standout works from the sale.

Within the contemporary segment of the sale, Farhad Moshiri’s“Rafti..Vali Na Az Del” (You Left, But Not From My Heart), at £40,000-60,000 is one of the only works from the jar series executed in bi-form, and serves as an example which can truly be considered the apotheosis of Moshiri’s oeuvre. Ayman Baalbaki’s “L’Armonial”, the largest work by Baalbaki to be offered at auction, is a monumental testament to the reconstruction of war-torn Beirut that Baalbaki so keenly documents.

The sale is curated by Bonhams Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art specialist, Nima Sagharchi; Sagharchi comments, “It is a point of considerable pride that Bonhams has been able to bring together a group of works that are arguably the finest extant examples from the artists represented; many of the works such as Jewad Selim’s “Salome” or Farhad Moshiri’s “RaftiVali Na Az Del”, are not only noteworthy for their uniqueness and quality, but standout as milestone works within the respective artists body of work.”

On Bonhams strategy in this specialist collecting areas, Sagharchi states: “It is a demonstration not only of our ongoing commitment to the category, but our belief in the health and expansion of Middle Eastern art market which has spurred us to present such a distinguished offering for auction.”

Bonham’s will hold a preview exhibition on September15th, in the JAMM Gallery, owned by H.H Sheikha Lulu Al Sabah which will showcase highlights from the sale.

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