Posted on October 10, 2014

A collection of works of contemporary art by both Middle Eastern and international artists which are to be auctioned by international auction house Sotheby's in Doha on October 13 is on display at the Katara Art Center for viewing by art lovers, said Qatar Tribune. The pre-sale exhibition, in partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, opened to the public at Katara building 5 on Tuesday, and will continue to be open from 2pm to 10pm daily until the day of the auction at 7pm.

Qatar Tribune spoke with Alla Salem, General Manager of Sotheby's Qatar branch, who noted that although some of the works to be auctioned have previously been exhibited in London and Saudi Arabia, this was the first occasion on which all the works to be sold are gathered in a single exhibition. "This cohesive pre-sale exhibition exemplifies the fascinating dialogue between East and West. Each work featured in the sale is of the highest calibre and corresponds directly to the demand from both our Middle Eastern and international clients," commented Lina Lazaar, Sotheby's International Contemporary Art Specialist.

Lazaar said the exhibition also epitomises the future of the vibrant art scene both in the region and internationally. Aileen Agopian, Sotheby's Senior Vice-President and International Contemporary Art Specialist, remarked,"After an international schedule of pre-sale exhibitions from Jeddah to Dubai, then London and New York - we are extremely excited to be opening in Doha the first exhibition of the Contemporary Art Doha auction in its in entirety."

"This is also the first exhibition in the Middle East featuring works of a number of celebrated artists which, combined with the sale itself in Doha, will make a distinct contribution to the international arts scene in Qatar and beyond," Agopian said. Last year, Sotheby's Contemporary Art Doha sale saw participation from bidders around the world and achieved the highest total for a sale of Contemporary art in the Middle East. Record prices were established for nine artists, including the highest price for a work of art by a living Arab artist. 

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This year's sale showcases works by important contemporary artists from both the Middle East and internationally. With pre-sale estimates for works spanning from $10,000 to $1,000,000, the depth and variety of the works offered in Doha have been selected to appeal to a younger, newer collector group as well as an institutional audience. Artworks by artists from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Palestine will be exhibited and then sold alongside works by internationally acclaimed artists from the US and UK. 

The sale includes eight works by Middle Eastern artists who have never been presented at any auction in the region, and five highly sought-after international artists whose work will be shown and offered for sale for the first time in the Middle East. These artists include Sterling Ruby, Tracey Emin, Lawrence Weiner, Aaron Young, and Lucien Smith alongside major names such as Monir Farmanfarmaian, Nja Mahdaoui, Damien Hirst and Anish Kapoor. 

The auction includes an important painting by Qatari artist Yousef Ahmad, which is available for viewing as part of the exhibition."Within the folds of my book, I present my land, my sky, my sea, and the zigzags of my life. Let it be a story to be lived by all who want to know Qatar," Ahmed said, commenting on his art. A member of the first generation of modern artists in Qatar, Yousef Ahmed's works are inspired by the forms and the hues of the desert landscape of his native Qatar and by Arabic calligraphy. His paintings are often collages or mixed-media works where colours meet textures, derived from natural elements. Letter of Love III, painted in 2008 and estimated at $10,000-15,000 is arguably one of his most representative works.