Köker tops sales of Turkish art at Christie’s Dubai auction
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Michael Jeha, managing director of Christie’s Middle East and head of the sale, says the auction house was very delighted with the sale, which had a strong sold percentage and in which four new world auction records were set.
The first day of Christie’s Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art sale, held on April 17 in Dubai, saw seven out of nine Turkish lots sold.
Celebrated Turkish artist Azade Köker’s “… and it was my life that was flowing slowly” fetched the highest amount among the Turkish works with a sale price of $86,500, while Murat Pulat broke his personal record with the sales of his piece “Marilyn Monroe” at $56,250.
But Burhan Doğançay’s work, which was launched at an estimated sale price range of between $120,000 and $180,000, remained unsold.
Statistically, 78 percent of the Turkish lots were sold, and according to data provided by the Christie’s office, 85 percent of the Turkish works were bought by foreigners. The second part of the sales takes place today at 7 p.m. local time and will feature 25 Turkish works by artists like Ercan Akın, Gökçe Çelikel, Ahmet Elhan, Deniz Gül, Seda Hepsev, Gülveli Kaya, Levent Morgök, Fırat Neziroğlu, Ayline Olukman, Özlem Şimşek and Gülin Hayat Topdemir.
The price of the other Turkish works sold in the auction were $50,000 for Ansen’s “Hunting Tales,” $27,500 for Horasan’s “Untitled” from his Emo series, $31,250 for Gülay Semercioğlu’s “Purple Circles,” $50,000 for Yaşam Saşmazer’s “Captured by Light” and $37,500 for Murat Germen’s “Muta-morphosis #166.”
Köker’s work appropriates a portrait of sculptress Camille Claudel. Köker once said that by restructuring the portrait, she had tried to make new and ambiguous expressions arise from a composition made from hundreds of human figures.
In “Marilyn Monroe” Pulat appropriates a famous shot of American actress Marilyn Monroe surrounded by reporters. The glamour of the image makes the painting hypnotizing. This effect is further encouraged and drawn into a pseudo-reality through the use of Pulat’s own interpretation of pointillism coupled with a photorealistic technique.
Ansen’s “Hunting Tales,” which depicts a desert scene with three main figures and their falcons seated by a roaring fire, is reminiscent of a pre-modern “Orient” – one before the witness of technology, one in which tribes are depicted in a more primal manner as they strategize their next feed.
The sales totaled $4 million with 91 percent sold by value. The presales high estimate was $3.9 million. The highlight of the whole sale was Egyptian artist Mahmoud Said’s “Marsa Matrouh,” which sold for $602,500 – double its estimate. Internationally acknowledged Iraqi artist Ahmed Alsoudani’s “Untitled” was sold for $386,500.
The last lot in the sale was a work created live in front of an audience the day before the auction by the Tunisian artist Nja Mahdaoui and four young Emiratis. It sold for $50,000 with proceeds going to benefit the Noor Dubai Foundation.
Michael Jeha, managing director of Christie’s Middle East and head of the sale, said the auction house was very delighted with the day’s sale, which had a strong sold percentage and in which four new world auction records were set.
“With such an impressive group of artists represented in the part I sale, combined with the emerging talent in part II, collectors have had a rare chance to see the past, present and future talent among the artists of the Middle East and Turkey. We look forward to the part II sale tomorrow evening,” he said.
One of two works sold by the North Carolina Museum of Art – which was to benefit the museum’s acquisition fund – by Lebanese artist Saliba Douaihy sold for $278,500, well above the $80,000-120,000 estimate. The sale established a new world auction record for the artist.
After the success of the Edge of Arabia sale held this time last year in Dubai and Christie’s support for the group’s recent exhibition in Jeddah, the audience applauded when Abdulnasser Gharem’s “In Transit V” sold for $116,500, the second highest price for the artist at auction.
The sale continues tomorrow evening with part II.