Christie’s to showcase Middle East art in Doha

August 21, 2010 - 1:49:14 am

DOHA: Christie’s, one of the leading auction houses in the world, will bring in some 40 Middle Eastern works of art along with its senior management team to host a public art exhibition over three days from October 3.

The event is organised to support Doha: The Arab Capital of Culture 2010, the initiative undertaken by the Arab League and Unesco to promote and celebrate Arab culture in the region.

Christie’s expo will show highlights of modern Middle Eastern art from the collection of Dr Mohammed Said Farsi, the first Lord Mayor of Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and one of Middle East’s great patrons of visual arts. The exhibition will be held at Four Seasons Hotel and open to the public on October 4 and 5.

“We are delighted to see the presence of Christie’s in Qatar, since their sales events are opportunities for learning, appreciation and acquisition,” said Roger Mandle, Executive Director of Qatar Museums Authority. “Their forthcoming exhibition in Doha is further evidence of Qatar’s emergence as a focus for the arts and culture in the Middle East.”

Jussi Pylkkanen, President of Christie’s Middle East and Europe, said: “It is a huge honour to be invited to contribute to this year-long programme of events to place Doha at the centre of cultural excellence in the Middle East. Christie’s has been involved in many educational initiatives in the region since we opened our office in Dubai in 2005, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to show the Farsi Collection in Doha. To further underline Christie’s commitment to the region, I will be joined in Doha by my two senior colleagues Edward Dolman, Chief Executive Officer, and Stephen Lash, Chairman of Christie’s America.”

The exhibition follows the record breaking sale at Christie’s in Dubai last April of 25 works from the collection of Dr Mohammed Said Farsi, which was a total sell out.

Christie’s will bring around 40 Middle Eastern works of art to Doha and this exquisite group of paintings will be highlighted by The Whirling Dervishes by Mahmoud Said (1897-1964).

It is also one of 20 important works of Egyptian modern art from the collection of Dr Mohammed Said Farsi to be exhibited in Doha, prior to their sale at auction in Dubai this October.

The oil on panel, painted in 1929, is estimated between $200,000 and $300,000. Born to an aristocratic Alexandrian family, son of Egypt’s prime minister and uncle to Queen Farida, Mahmoud Said trained as a lawyer, working reluctantly in that profession before devoting himself fully to his art in 1947.

The painting depicts six Mawlawi dervishes, each identically clad and with similar features but subtly different postures, they perform a Sema dance around the circular stage of an Ottoman-era Semahane (ritual hall).

The exhibition is open to the public on October 4 from 2pm to 10pm and October 5 from 12 noon to 8pm at the Four Season Hotel Doha. The Peninsula