On October 7th, in conjunction with its regular autumn sale of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art, Bonhams
is holding the second part of its ground-breaking sale of Iraqi Modernism. A Century of Iraqi Art Part II builds on the sale which earlier this year saw new records set and an auction total of £1.2 million the highest for any group of Iraqi paintings offered at auction.
From early pioneers like Abdel Kader Al Rassam and Faiq Hassan, to market favourites such as Jewad Selim, Shaker Hassan Al-Said, and Dia Azzawi, the sale boasts rare and important works from private collections, many of which are being offered at auction for the first time.
Highlights include Shakir Hassan Al-Saids magnificent cubist Cockerel (Lot 14, £40,000-60,000). A similar example sold for a world record £194,500 in Part I of the auction earlier this year. Al-Said, together with his teacher, Jewad Selim, (1919-1961), formed the first modern art movement in Iraq in 1951: The Baghdad Group of Modern Art.
Representing Al-Saids later abstract phase, Al Muntassirun The Victorious (Lot 20, £80,000-120,000) is perhaps the finest and most important work from his One Dimensional series, where he explores the spiritual dimensions of calligraphic representation by moving away from formalism in favour of abstract, primitive forms.
The sales cover lot, Ismael Fattahs Homage to Jewad Selim (Lot 26, £40,000-60,000), is a magnificent and important work exhibited at Londons Kufa gallery in 1989, in a show organized in tribute to Selim.