News / Middle East

Iranian Art Sales Flourish Despite Financial Woes

Paintings from Sohrab Sepehri's 'Tree Trunks' series will be up for auction, Oct. 3, 2011 (courtesy of Sotheby's).
Paintings from Sohrab Sepehri's 'Tree Trunks' series will be up for auction, Oct. 3, 2011 (courtesy of Sotheby's).
Andy Edwards

The vibrancy of Iranian art and its current position in the world art market go under the gavel in the London auction rooms of Sotheby’s on Tuesday. The sale highlights a growing interest in Iran’s artists and how they have drawn upon various influences of lives spent away from their native land.

Whereas uncertainty in world financial markets have had an impact on international art sales, Sotheby’s Roxane Zand says interest in contemporary Iranian art is holding strong.

"We find that the market has held quite stable and that the prices are healthy and robust," she says. "Like many other areas of art, we have seen a rise in prices in the past, [but] at the moment we see a great deal more stability and we think that this particular sale in London is going to do very well indeed."

One of the leading figures to be shown will be painter and poet Sohrab Sepehri, who died in Tehran in 1980. His “Tree Trunks” series, a key work painted in New York in 1970, reflects on his time spent in Japan a decade before.

Bahman Mohasses's 'Untitled.'
Bahman Mohasses's 'Untitled.'

Sepehri's work, Zand says, was enormously influenced by study and travel abroad, and his New York stint was motivated by a desire to find tranquility among the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Conversely, his contemporary Bahman Mohasses, who died last year, produced a harsh realism when living in Rome. “Untitled,” a Mohasses piece that portrays an almost grotesque, epicene figure perched on the gunwale of a small boat, is emblematic of his style.

"Mohasses always mentioned that his aesthetic lay in ugliness and that he saw and explored a different aesthetic," says Zand, describing him as a modern master whose recent death has only focused more attention on his work.

Hadieh Shafie's '10450 Pages.'
Hadieh Shafie's '10450 Pages.'

The contemporary works of Hadieh Shafie, recently nominated for the 2011 Jameel Prize, tap roots of Islamic arts and design while drawing comparisons to the iconic Jasper Johns. One of the most distinctive works to go on sale, "10450 Pages" - ink and paint on tightly-bound scrolls of paper - gives a clue to her approach. "She’s very interested in process-oriented work and repetition and the patterns that are caused by that which in turn finds its routes in traditional Iranian art," says Zand.

Naveed Noor's 'The Eye Codex of The Monochrome Series.'
Naveed Noor's 'The Eye Codex of The Monochrome Series.'

Works by German-born Iranian Naveed Nour, who exhibited at this year's Venice Biennale, also invoke achievements of major art-world figures. One piece from "The Eye Codex of The Monochrome Series" - a project completed over 26 years that critics compare to the works of Anish Kapoor and Mark Rothko - is set to go on sale.

With six-figure sums anticipated for some items, including Sohrab Sepehri’s "Tree Trunks," the financial profile of Iran’s contemporary art market is likely to match the range and vigor of works about to go on the block in London.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid