Sotheby's Contemporary Art Doha auction achieves a record $15.1m



2015-06-26 13:15:02

Sotheby's Contemporary Art Doha auction achieves a record $15.1m

Sotheby's auction in Doha achieved a record total for a contemporary art sale in the Middle East

Sotheby's Contemporary Art Doha auction has set a new world record for a contemporary art salein the Middle East, achieving $15.1m yesterday (April 23).

Chant Avedissian Icons of the Nile A detail from Chant Avedissian's Icons of the Nile, which is comprised of 120 frames

The sale was estimated to realise between $11m-16m, but soon exceeded itslow valuation as collectors competed for lots in a rare auction in the region.

Commenting immediately following the auction, chairman of Sotheby's International, Robin Woodhead, said: "Tonight's sale in Doha demonstrates unequivocally Qatar's central role as a cultural hub of the entire MENA Region.

"Sotheby's ability to attract bidding from collectors from 15 countries across four continents here this evening affirms the growing importance of Qatar in the international art world."

The top lot of the sale was Donald Judd's Untitled (Bernstein 90-01), which sold amid fierce competition from four collectors for $3.5m.

Following closely behind was Rising Down, the cover lot of the sale, which set the auction record for Ethiopian-born artist Julie Mehretu at $3m.

The world record for a living Arab artist was also set, with Chant Avedissian's monumental gouache and stencil work Icons of the Nile selling for $1.5m. The piece is formed of 120 parts and presents a mosaic of Egyptian culture, displaying nostalgic and iconic images from the country's history.

As the booming Chinese market begins to mature, auction houses are looking toward countries such as India and those in the Middle East as the next hot spot for art investment. 2013's Asia Week New York saw the growing influence of Islamic and Indian art, with the esteemed Amaya Collection achieving strong results.

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