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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora