Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Doha auction on 22nd of April, 2013 achieved the strong total of $15,199,750, solidly between the pre-sale expectations of $11.1/16.1 million, establishing the highest price for an auction of Contemporary Art in the Middle East region. The sale was 89.1% sold by lot. Records were set for nine artists, including a record for a living Arab artist. The top lot of tonight’s sale was Donald Judd’s Untitled (Bernstein 90-01), which sold – after an extended bidding battle among four people – for $3,525,000.
Robin Woodhead, Chairman of Sotheby’s International, 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.”
Commenting on this evening’s sale, Lina Lazaar Jameel, Head of Sale and Sotheby’s International Contemporary Art Specialist, said: “We are thrilled with the results of this evening’s sale, which achieved records for nine artists and set the highest total for a sale of Contemporary Art in the Middle East region. It is extraordinarily gratifying to see the market’s response to the exceptional range of art we sourced for this evening’s carefully curated auction. Interest grew throughout the pre-sale tour of highlights to both Jeddah and Dubai, culminating in tonight’s exciting auction.”
Rising Down, set an auction record for Ethiopian-born artist Julie Mehretu titled when it achieved the strong price of $3,077,000, over its high estimate of $3 million, after competition from four bidders (pictured right). Executed in 2008 in ink and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, the monumental work (243.8cm x 365.8cm) is one of the most visually arresting works ever produced by the artist.
Four bidders competed for a work of monumental scale by Chant Avedissian, Icons of the Nile, which set a record for a living Arab artist when it fetched $1,565,000 (est. $1/1.5 million). Created in 2010, this gouache, stencil and acrylic paint on cardboard, in one hundred and twenty parts, is the largest piece the artist has created to date. It presents a mosaic of Egyptian culture that retraces the country’s past through nostalgic imagery and iconographical motifs.