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Posts Tagged ‘Farhad Moshiri’

Sotheby’s to hold first ever international auction house sale of calligraphy in Doha

Posted by artradar on July 28, 2010


ART MARKET ART AUCTIONS CALLIGRAPHY DOHA

Sotheby’s London recently announced it will hold the first ever international auction house sale dedicated solely to calligraphy in Doha, Qatar, at The Ritz-Carlton Doha hotel, on 15 December. The groundbreaking calligraphy auction Hurouf: The Art of the World will showcase various works ranging from very early Islamic calligraphies to a mix of modern and contemporary Arabic, Farsi and Ottoman Turkish works.

Highlights of the forthcoming auction will travel through the Gulf Region prior to sale, one of which being Ali Omar Ermes’ The Fourth Ode which has an estimated price ranging from USD250,000 to USD350,000.

Ali Omar Ermes's 'The Fourth Ode' (acrylic and ink on paper).
Ali Omar Ermes’s ‘The Fourth Ode’ (acrylic and ink on paper).

Calligraphy is an art form that has influenced the Doha art scene for many years, and Sotheby’s believes this sale represents the region’s past and present talents. Says Roberta Louckx, Sotheby’s Executive Vice President and Head of Sotheby’s in Qatar, in a the press release announcing the sale:

We are delighted to return to Doha later this year with an inaugural auction devoted to ‘calligraphy’, a theme that has inspired and informed the art of this rich and diverse culture throughout the ages – from the production of the first Kufic Qur’ans to the modern and contemporary artworks of Farhad Moshiri. Sotheby’s is strongly committed to the region, and we are extremely excited to present for sale, in Qatar, the creative endeavours of some of the region’s most talented artists, past and present.

According to the press release, the forthcoming calligraphy sale is built on the success of last year’s Doha sales. After opening an office in Doha in 2008, Sotheby’s held maiden sales in March last year during which an Indian carpet made of pearls and gems fetched USD5.5 million, although the Bloomberg article which reported on this sale also mentioned that the prices of the auctions were disappointing in general. As Dalya Islam, Director of Sotheby’s Middle East Arab & Iranian Art Department, states in the press release,

Last year at our Doha sales Sotheby’s achieved solid success for works by highly sought-after Arab artists such as Chafic Abboud, Nabil Nahas, Ayman Baalbaki, Yousef Ahmad and Ali Hassan. In order to build on this, we have decided to devote a sale to works of significant interest to the region, focusing on calligraphy. The Arabic script has stimulated artists for more than a millennium, and is still a highly regarded and revered art form that reflects the rich history of the region. The auction will emphasise the enduring legacy of Islamic art by tracing the development of calligraphy, with a focus on its contemporary manifestation.

CBKM/KN

Related Topics:  market watch – auctions, calligraphy, Middle Eastern artists

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Top 17 Asian artists 2009: Art Radar’s most-searched artists

Posted by artradar on January 5, 2010


TOP ASIAN CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS

We have been up and running for over 18 months now and we receive over 25,000 page views a month. Our readers come to us in various ways: via links from other websites, from twitter, facebook and other social media, from our email newsletter, from word of mouth referrals and of course via search engines.

Many readers find us by typing a specific artist name into Google or another search engine and finding a story or image written by Art Radar. Our analytics package tracks these search terms for us and we thought you might be interested in this data too.

Wucius Wong

Wucius Wong

We can’t claim that this list is a reliable proxy for the most-searched Asian artists on the internet overall (take a look at our caveats below). However we do think the list throws up some fascinating data.

  1. Takashi Murakami – Male Japanese anime painter and sculptor – 34,000 searches
  2. Anish Kapoor – Male British Indian sculptor – 3,500
  3. Shirin Neshat – Female Iranian photographer – 2,200
  4. Cao Fei – Female Chinese photographer and new media artist – 550
  5. I Nyoman Masriadi – Male Indonesian painter – 520
  6. Yoshitaka Amano – Male Japanese anime artist – 460
  7. Ori Gersht – Male Israeli photographer – 380
  8. Terence Koh – Male Canadian Chinese photographer, installation and multimedia artist – 340
  9. AES+F – Russian photography and video collective – 320
  10. Ronald Ventura – Male Filipino painter – 280
  11. Hiroshi Sugimoto – Male Japanese photographer – 260
  12. Farhad Moshiri – Male Iranian painter – 240
  13. Subodh Gupta – Male Indian painter, installation artist – 210
  14. Farhad Ahrarnia – Female Iranian thread artist – 180
  15. Gao Xingjian – Male Chinese ink artist – 180
  16. Jitish Kallat – Male Indian painter – 170
  17. Wucius Wong – Male Hong Kong Chinese ink artist – 160

The most startling finding is the “‘winner takes all” phenomenon. Takashi Murakami searches are 10 times the second most-searched artist and more than 100 times most of the artists on the list. This correlates with some of the latest findings on internet searches which are tending towards an L shape ie  there are blockbuster categories and a long tail of niches in which a vast number of categories each receive very few searches.

I Nyoman Masriadi

I Nyoman Masriadi

The well-known book “The Long Tail”‘ first brought the long tail phenomenon to light and it was expected that searchers given the choice would no longer need to cluster around a blockbuster because that was what was most readily available but would be able to choose between a myriad of interest categories. The latest research is showing that the long tail is indeed happening but that the long tail is not diminishing interest in blockbusters, instead the long tail is taking away from the middle-interest categories.

This pattern seems to be borne out in our data.  This trend could have some profound implications for the way that artists are marketed in the future. Perhaps art galleries as we now know them will go the way of independent bookstores and publishers, unable to afford the marketing costs needed to create blockbusters and unable to sell enough in the niches to survive. We would like to hear more about your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below.

Farhad Ahrarnia, The Struggle Within

Farhad Ahrarnia, The Struggle Within

Preferred media of most-searched artists

Most of the arists work in various media but in this list we have tagged them with the media they are best known for. Only 5 of the artists are known primarily for painting and this list is dominated by photographers, new media artists and sculptors.  Chinese ink, thread and anime make intriguing appearances on the list too.

Age

Most of the artists were born in the 1960s and 1970s as you would expect for a contemporary art site. But there are some surprise appearances for 2 older artists Gao Xingjian born 1940 and Wucius Wong born 1936. What is even more interesting is that both of these artists are Chinese and work in the same, very national genre of ink. While new media dominates, the inclusion of traditional Chinese ink art suggests a countertrend in which historical media and disciplines are being appreciated by contemporary art enthusiasts.

Gender

Male 13, Female 3, Mixed collective 1

Farhad Moshiri

Farhad Moshiri

Breakdown of nationalities

Chinese 4, Indian 3, Iranian 3, Japanese 3, Israeli, Indonesian, Filipino and Russian 1 each

While it is commonly known that there is now great international interest in the Chinese, Indian and Iranian art scenes we were fascinated to note the high ranking of two painters from Southeast Asia: Indonesian artist I Nyoman Masriadi and Filipino Ronald Ventura.  The  Southeast Asian collector base is composed of a small group of prominent Indonesian Chinese businessmen collectors. Artists from Southeast Asia find themselves in a somewhat enclosed and isolated art scene and are rarely exhibited outside the region. We did not expect to see Southeast Asian artists achieving a high ranking for internet searches.

Yoshitaka Amano

Yoshitaka Amano

Notes

This list is not a reliable proxy for the most-searched artists on the internet overall. Here is why:

If we have not written a story on or tagged this artist, the search engines will not bring us traffic for this search term and it won’t appear on our traffic analysis stats page. As we have only been up for 18 months it is quite possible that we have not yet covered some higly-searched artists. And even if we have referenced an artist on our site and the artist is highly-searched, the searcher will not come to us unless we have a good page ranking for the story on the search engine.  For example if the story is, say, after page 4 of the search engine results, the searcher probably won’t find our story and will not appear in our stats. Despite these limitations the data is likely to be a reliable indicator for certain trends. Finally even if we have a story and the story is well-ranked, it may be that other stories on the same page are more alluring than ours and readers do not find their way to us.

More recent lists: June 2010

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56 artist show Iran Inside Out – Will election unrest fan the debate about Iranian contemporary art?

Posted by artradar on June 30, 2009


IRANIAN CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION US

New York’s Chelsea Art Museum is holding its “groundbreaking” exhibition Iran Inside Out (26 June to 5 September 2009) which features 35 artists living and working in Iran alongside 21 others living in the diaspora.

We are promised a “multifarious portrait of 56 contemporary Iranian artists challenging the conventional perceptions of Iran and Iranian art”. However, do not be at all surprised if unfolding events in Iran and the very art itself will result in heated debate and deep schisms about this interpretation.

Pooneh Maghazehe, Hell's Puerto Rico Performance Still, 2008 copyright artist

Pooneh Maghazehe, Hell's Puerto Rico Performance Still, 2008 copyright artist

The debate was ignited by ‘Unveiled’, a show of Middle Eastern art (half of it Iranian) at The Saatchi Gallery London in the early months of this year. The exhibition garnered plenty of critical attention but strongly divided views were expressed about the success of the organisers’ claim to overturn the cliched idea that the Middle East is synonymous with violence and intolerance.

According to Henry Chu of LA Times , “Unveiled is an exhibition which offers an alternate vision: the Middle East as a source of lively, stimulating contemporary art — informed by conflict, certainly, but not consumed by it.” Nonsense, says Dorment in The Telegraph who claims the show is replete with references to bombs, religious police and the denigration of women.

This debate will be fanned anew by recent political disturbances in Iran. Relations between foreign powers and Iran are now severely strained following the disputed re-election on 12 June of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Click to browse Iran Inside Out catalogue

Click to browse Iran Inside Out catalogue

“Iran has repeatedly accused foreign powers – especially Britain and the US – of meddling after the 12 June election, which officially handed him a decisive victory” says the BBC while The New York Times gives us a specific quote:

President Obama, who made his most critical remarks of the Iranian leadership on Friday, when he called the government’s crackdown “outrageous” … said the prospects for a dialogue with Iran had been dampened.

…“Didn’t he say that he was after change?” Mr. Ahmadinejad asked. “Why did he interfere?”

Unfolding political events will challenge the New York show’s curators, artists and museum staff and test their courage. Even before the protests, in reference to Iranian art in ‘Unveiled’, the Guardian was saying:

It is still amazing how far into politics this art bravely goes and it is no overstatement to speak of bravery in this case. One of the artists represented here, who lives in Tehran, is muffled in the gallery’s publicity shot to conceal his identity. Another, the prodigiously gifted Tala Madani, has escaped Tehran for Amsterdam but still refused to have her face revealed in a photograph. Guardian

The museum’s website raises the interesting point – and this is perhaps the nub of it – that artists in the diaspora and at home in Iran choose different forms of expression:

Ironically, contrary to one’s expectations, the artists living abroad often draw more on their cultural heritage, while those on the inside focus more on issues of everyday life without much regard to what ‘the outside’ views as specifically Iranian references.

But, whereas the museum’s writers see the focus of home-based artists on the  ‘everyday’ as an act of choice, there are some who suggest it is an act of self-preservation. Time will tell whether the description of this show will be excoriated like that of the catalogue description of ‘Unveiled’:

In her catalogue introduction to .. ‘Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East’, Lisa Farjam airily dismisses European perceptions of the Middle East as a place synonymous with political oppression, religious intolerance, and terrorism as unthinking ‘clichés’ that prevent us from understanding the richness and diversity of Muslim societies.

All I can say in response is that the artists in this show profoundly disagree with her sunny take on this part of the world. The evils Westerners see from a distance are the everyday context in which many of these painters and sculptors make their work – and it was precisely to escape repression at home that so many of the best of them now live in New York or Paris.

Their art isn’t (like so much Western art) about consumerism or celebrity or art itself; it’s about suicide bombers, religious police, unending war, and the denigration of women in Islamic societies. While I admit I was surprised that those still working in Tehran feel able to treat the subjects of gender, sexuality, religion, and politics without risking imprisonment or death, among the photos of the artists displayed at the end of the show, I noticed that one, who still lives in Tehran, has taken the precaution of wearing a balaclava. Telegraph

Related links: Exhibition description on Chelsea Art Museum site

Catalogue

In a still unusual and much-appreciated move, the museum has put the show’s catalogue online. It is a glorious glimpse of a very active art scene. Text and works by artists sit alongside interviews with collectors and galleries. Buy the ‘Iran Inside Out’ catalogue here.

FEATURED ARTISTS:

Inside Iran (35)

Abbas Kowsari, Ahmad Morshedloo, Amir Mobed, Alireza Dayani, Arash Hanaei, Arash Sedaghatkish, Arman Stepanian, Barbad Golshiri, Behdad Lahooti, Behrang Samadzadegan, Bita Fayyazi, Daryoush Gharahzad, Farhad Moshiri, Farideh Lashai, Golnaz Fathi, Houman Mortazavi, Jinoos Taghizadeh, Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Mahmoud Bakhshi Moakher, Majid Ma’soomi Rad, Mehdi Farhadian, Nazgol Ansarinia, Newsha Tavakolian, Ramin Haerizadeh, Reza Derakshani, Reza Paydari, Rokni Haerizadeh, Sadegh Tirafkan, Saghar Daeeri, Shahab Fotouhi, Shirin Aliabadi, Shirin Fakhim, Siamak Filizadeh, Siavash Nagshbandi, Vahid Sharifian

Outside Iran (21)

Ala Ebtekar, Alireza Ghandchi, caraballo–farman, Darius Yektai, Kamran Diba, Leila Pazooki, Mitra Tabrizian, Nazanin Pouyandeh, Negar Ahkami, Nicky Nodjoumi, Parastou Forouhar, Pooneh Maghazehe, Pouran Jinchi, Roya Akhavan, Samira Abbassy, Sara Rahbar, Shahram Entekhabi, Shahram Karimi, Shirin Neshat, Shiva Ahmadi, Shoja Azari

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Newslink round up Art Basel 2009 – Indian, Japanese artists dominate coverage of Asians

Posted by artradar on June 24, 2009


ART FAIR

Much of the traditional coverage of Art Basel takes the same format: descriptions of some highlighted artworks are interwoven with information about sales generally and, dealers willing, specifically. From this gathering of anecdotal, far-from-objective evidence some kind of assessment of the buoyancy of the market is made.

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This year the consensus view emerges that, from a base of very low expectations and to the relief of dealers, sales were made and perhaps were even quite strong.

Blogs offer some alternative reporting – see in particular the Sojones blog about the fast-selling artwork “Simple Things” – made of everyday objects encrusted with tens of thousands of precious jewels – which was a collaboration between musician Pharrell Williams and Takashi Murakami. This post by a non-fine arts blog took one small element of the fair and provided a link-rich comprehensive report. This may be a glimpse of the future of arts reporting. We hope so because there remain many untold stories about the fair …

Other themes extensively reported by the papers and blogs included  Brad Pitt’s purchases. Less predictable was the wide coverage given to “Il Tempo del Postino“, described as a show in time rather in space and as the “world’s first visual arts opera”.

For a list of Asian artists given press coverage see the tags at the bottom. Their names are also highlighted in grey in the article descriptions. It is interesting to note that these were mostly Japanese and Indian.

Collectors pleased with Art Basel 40 FairJapan Times – 19 June – “Art market is surprisingly healthy” Sep 09 to Mar 09 was difficult for dealers but Basel has coincided with an uptick in activity. Sales by Hiroshi Sugimoto. Other Asian artists mentioned included veteran Yayoi Kusama, and new or under-rcognised artists such as Teppei Kaneuji, Ei Arakawa.

After Art Basel, dealers have high hopes for London salesWall Street Journal – 19 June – Fair organisers talked of ‘unexpectedly strong’ sales and dealers seemed happy though no final sales figure has been released. 61000 visitors the highest number ever.

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Recession appealThe Economist – 18 June – A piece about sales – “by all nebulous barometers, business in Basel was satisfactory, possibly even very good”. Sales included Indian artists Anish Kapoor, Raqib Shaw. Posits 4 reasons for buoyant sales: return of collectors in down market, discounting, diversion of money out of Swiss bank accounts and perception art a stronger asset class.

Art Unlimited Part 2 – Art Basel videoVernissage TV – 16 June – In this video walkthrough find works by Gabriele di Matteo, Li Dafang, Willem Boshoff, David Shrigley, Marcel van Eeden, Mel Bochner, Anthony McCall, Sigmar Polke, Steven Shearer, Lawrence Weiner, Goran Petercol, Aernout Mik, Stephan Balkenhol, Tatjana Doll, Chen Zhen, Natalie Djurberg, Sarah Oppenheimer, Bharti Kher, Falke Pisano, Clegg & Guttmann, Banks Violette, and Hans op de Beeck.

Art Basel Vernissage Arrested Motion – 16 June – Over 60 images of artworks

Jeppe Hein loop bench at Art BaselDesigncrave – 15 June – Good pics of this piece of large crossover art.

Pharrell Williams’ and Takashi Murakami’s “Simple Things” sold for more than $2millionSojones – 15 June 2009 – One of the most comprehensive pieces to cover the sale within 30 minutes of the opening of Simple Things, an artwork encrusted with 26,000 jewels by music man Pharrell Williams in conjunction with Takashi Murakami. A link to a great video interview with Farrell talking about the artwork.

 Art 40 Basel: Extraordinary quality, surprisingly strong results Art Basel press release – 14 June – This press release is a closing statement rounding up the fair’s achievements and successes. Lists artists who attended including Subodh Gupta. Over 50 museum groups attended. Over 61000 visitors, over 300 galleries from 29 countries, more than 2500 artists. “Il Tempo del Postino”

 

Art Basel 2009 – videoVernissage TV – 13 June – video walkthrough

Surprise success: Art Basel dispels credit crunch blues The Art Newspaper – 12 June – Lists celebrities and collectors present. Fewer American collectors mostly Europeans did the buying. “The recession compelled dealers to bring their best”. Everyone was “sniffing”‘ for discounts and if dealers were flexible sales were made. Long list of specific artwork sales made.

Window shoppers – seasoned collectors spend carefully at Art BaselWall Street Journal – 12 June –  A list of collectors who visited (American collectors: the Horts and Craig Robins) and art advisers (Sandy Heller who buys for Steve Cohen and Philippe Segalot adviser to Francois Pinault owner of Christie’s).  Also lists some of 101 artists who were also at Venice Biennale. Relief that some sales were made. Describes ways galleries saved money. Asian artists mentioned On Kawara, Subodh Gupta.

A Thriftier Lot comes to Art Basel this yearNew York Times – 11 June – This piece lists some of the artwork highlights on show and collectors and curators who attended. Art was more conservative than last year and focused on big rather than new names. Expectations so low that there was relief that some business was done.

Warhol price slashed as Art Basel fights slump with bargainsBloomberg – 9 June – Long 25 paragraph piece made up of snippets of market information based on gallery interviews. Leading para is about trimming of prices this year – other interesting comments: Art Basel will be 2 shows this year both work on show and discreet consignment sales on behalf of collectors; Kapoor prices holding steady, pure New York market gone with some dealers missing this year but still interest from Asia and some parts of Europe.

Art Unlimited – Art Basel video part 1 – Vernissage TV – 9 June – This year’s Art Unlimited exhibition of the international art fair Art 40 Basel in Basel, Switzerland, marks the tenth edition of Art Basel’s sector for large sculptures, and installation and video art. Works by Elisabetta Benassi, Yoshitomo Nara, Beat Zoderer, Sislej Xhafa, Ayse Erkmen, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Fabrice Gygi, Surdashan Shetty, Farhad Moshiri, Jesús Fafael Soto, Sterling Ruby, Laurence Weiner, Franz Erhard Walter, Steven Shearer, Nedko Solakov, :Mentalklinik, Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Stephan Balkenhol, and Matthew Day Jackson.

Editor’s Picks: Art Basel Preview Artinfo – 8 June – Useful link to an image carousel showing works being presented at 42 galleries, many with price information.

For art lovers Basel doesn’t end at the fairNew York Times Travel Section – 7 June – Long comprehensive post covering what to eat, where to sleep and what to see in Basel. Brief overview of Art Basel (40th anniversary, 300 galleries, 2500 artists, not much art after 1970s) and an interesting look at the exhibitions by museums (the result of 5 centuries of wealth and “public-mindedness”).

Locals Rule: Alternative Art spaces gear up for Art BaselArtinfo – 6 June – List of activities offered on Basel’s alternative art scene.

Basel, more than a fair cityNew York Times Travel section – undated – 9 enticing images of hotels and restaurants

The Art Market: the biggest fairs around the worldFinancial Times – Georgina Adams – 6 June – A few paragraphs of Basel coverage in this piece covering art fairs. Two distinguishing events at Art Basel: Art Unlimited an exhibition of large scale works in 12000 sq m hall and Il Tempo del Postino which sets time limits on art display. Two more paragraphs speculate about pricing strategies.

Meanwhile in Basel Contemporary Works you can buyWall Street Journal – 5 June – Short prefair description of event and some works

Related links: To see the online catalogue visit http://artbasel-online.com/

Related posts:

  • Newslink round up – Art HK 09 – May 09
  • Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto – 4 fascinating video interviews – May 09
  • Which 5 Indian artists would you dare to buy now? – May 09
  • Art Dubai 2009 – who sold what to whom? – Mar 09
  • Who are the top artists at art fairs? – Mar 09
  • Newslink round up Arco Madrid 2009 – Feb 09
  • Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for round ups of art news coverage

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    Pockets of change in Asian art infrastructure – interview Leeza Ahmady director ACAW

    Posted by artradar on May 12, 2009


    ASIAN CONTEMPORARY ART WEEK NEW YORK 2009

    Asian Contemporary Art Week director Leeza Ahmady talks about the ‘ incredible’ initiatives in India and Hong Kong which are helping to build an Asian art infrastructure, Indian collector Anupam Poddar’s first time purchase of art from Afghanistan and where to see exciting art from Central Asia, the Middle East and Iran at New York’s Asian Contemporary Art Week May 2009.

    This is the second part of a 3 part interview

     

    Gulnara Muratabek

    Gulnara Muratbek

     

    AR: If visitors to Asian Contemporary Art Week 2009 in New York want to learn more about Central Asia at Asia Contemporary Art Week, what can they see and where they can go?

    LA: People can see some of the best artists from Central Asia and the Middle East at an exhibition titled: Tarjama/Translation I have co-curated with Iftikar Dadi and Reem Fada at Queen’s Museum produced by ArteEast. Many of them are internationally-renowned artists but for some reason they are not being exhibited in New York yet.

    Akram Zaatari and Lara Baladi from Lebanon, Esra Ersen from Turkey and Sharif Wakid from Palestine are represented and Almagul Menlibayevaof Kazakhstan who is getting a lot of attention here in New York and now has a gallery representing her. We have specially commissioned a video work by her entitled “Queens”. It is an extraordinary work. Almagul has juxtaposed her signature style-using performance as a base revolving around ritual and the fantastic to captivate the Central Asian diasporas like the Bukharan Jews, the Samarkand Uzbeks and the Afghans living in Queens, New York.

    Among the Iranian artists included in Tarjama/Translation, Farhad MoshiriI have heard is totally galvanising the art market which is very encouraging. Often these artists do well in the biennale or academic arenas but we do not see them in the market arena so there is a shift there as well.

    There is a whole lot of fascination going on with Iran this year I have to tell you. Thomas Erben, one of the best galleries in my opinion for working with cutting edge artists from Pakistan and India, has just come back from Iran. So in honour of ACAW, he will be curating an exhibition of artists living and making art in Iran and he has been going through all kinds of hoops to get the work to New York. The Chelsea Museum is also organizing a large exhibition in June showcasing Iranian artists from the 60’s up to the present.

    AR: What do you see in the future for Asian art? Will Asia continue to rely on Western art centres as a platform for international recognition or will it start to happen within Asia itself?

    LA: The Western world is way ahead, years if not centuries, in having the institutions which help with not just showcasing but also maintaining, archiving and saving works of contemporary art. We can’t really have a conversation which compares the two because of that disparity. What I can say is that changes will not just happen in the future …. they are already happening.

    Arts i  is the new 12,000 square foot art space of one of the largest investment companies in India. It is based in New Delhi and has launched the Religare Arts Initiative which acts as a corporate champion of art. Most galleries, auction houses and art funds operate art businesses but the Religare Arts Initiative tries to leverage business for art through a host of activities – exhibitions, residency programs, library, documentaries, art fund, seminars, documentation etc. The intention of the initiative is to have a 360 degree platform for art in India and really have it create change in society. It is not just a group of people but it wants to actually create an impact on society. I think that is incredibly novel.

    Often it is easy for us to say that there is not enough expertise and not enough critical dialogue but the fact is if you really want to look there are some incredible things happening. In India another example is Devi Art Foundation started by a mother and son team who turned their private collection into a public venue. They opened a huge space last summer and already have had two or three critically-acclaimed exhibitions.

    They are looking not only at promoting Indian art but also at what else is going on in the region. They reached out to me and we purchased two works by Afghan artists for their collection. This is very encouraging.

     To have come this far is wonderful. I want to acknowledge that there is a handful of us out there and it is changing. Another great example is Green Cardamom Gallery in London. They are contributing to the discourse by providing critical context through artist-generated collaborative exhibitions and writing projects.I cannot speak for China as I have never been there except for Hong Kong. But I have to say organisations like Asia Art Archive or your publication now, these are huge leaps forward in creating forums where critics can have space to say what they need to say.

    AR: Do you have anything to say about the market for Asian art?

    LA:  What has astonished a lot of people is that art from India and China has been successful because of locally-based collectors not just outside collectors. The whole market frenzy and speculation was accelerated by this local interest. In the long term this interest will continue to grow. What is happening in the Middle East is also incredible. For the first time in the last 2 years we are seeing auctions of contemporary art from the Middle East. Who would have thought it? And they did not do too badly at all.

    AR: Perhaps it speaks about the quality and freshness of the work coming out of the Middle East, what do you think?

    LA: That is true. It is fresh  because there is a cultural specifity which is very intriguing yet at the same time the art is universally relevant. For me when art tells me something specific but is still relevant whether or not I know where it is from or what it is about – if I can connect with it from that universal place – then it is good art. That is not to say that everything that is coming out of Asia is good of course! (Laughter) 

    This is the second part of a 3 part interview

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    The Dubai art market and its future – Nation, Guardian

    Posted by artradar on December 25, 2008


    Farhad Moshiri

    Farhad Moshiri

    ART MARKET DUBAI

    A spate of new gallery openings mostly in the city’s financial hub – the Dubai International Financial Centre – goes ahead despite the recent turmoil amongst financial institutions reports the Nation.

    The global turmoil certainly hasn’t affected the number of art galleries in Dubai. Cuadro, Opera Gallery, Art Sawa and Art Space (which relocated), all opened their doors in the weeks directly following the liquidations, bail outs and nationalisations of some of the world’s most trusted financial institutions.

    Each of the new galleries are attempting to carve out their own niche in the increasingly crowded Dubai scene. They flaunt their belief in art as an investment and all but Art Sawa are located within less than a minute’s walk from one another, in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Centre.

    Being close to monied clientele is undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of the DIFC location.

    “Typically, the people who buy from us are the kind that can definitely afford it,” says Palestinian-born Maliha Tabari, the managing director of the Art Space gallery. “I have to admit, mostly they are people in the banking industry.”

    In a little over half a decade, Tabari has witnessed a phenomenal growth in the Dubai market.

    “I’ve been in Dubai for six years and I came when there was almost no art,” Tabari says.”At the time, if a painting was $3,000 (Dh11,000), it was like, ‘That’s so expensive’. Nothing could sell at that price. We were trying hard to sell pieces by Farhad Moshiri for about $2,000 (Dh7,500) or $3,000 (Dh11,000) – now his work is worth $200,000 (Dh740,000) or $300,000 (Dh1.1million),” she says. “We are talking about a five-year period, so it really happened fast.”

    The last five years have seen a massive proliferation in commercial art galleries in the city.

    From just two names to around 30, the list includes international sellers and high-end spaces showcasing masterpieces with million-dollar price tags.

    Opera Gallery’s new space in Dubai is the company’s 10th global outlet and specialises in high-end works. Its walls currently host pieces by Picasso, Dali, Monet and Renoir, as well as other contemporary and Middle Eastern artists.

    Auction houses have been catalysts in building the market for Middle Eastern art.

    In April, Christie’s  set a record for the sale of an individual piece of Middle East art, the $2.8million (Dh10.3m) sale of Praviz Tanavoli’s sculpture, The Wall (Oh Persepolis). Will Lawrie, the head of sales for Arab and Iranian contemporary art at Christie’s Middle East, says the sale was “the single most flabbergasting figure” of the year.

    “The Parviz Tanavoli sculpture was unique, really a one off thing from the 1970s. An unbelievable thing.” Standing almost two metres tall, the bronze monolith is covered with calligraphic engravings. Although the sculpture would look at home in ancient Babylon, the figures upon it resemble robotic, space age beings.

    The commercial market activity has helped stimulate local artist production and the creation of non-profit space to support them.

    “There has never been a recognition of being an artist as a profession [in the Emirates]. But there is now a glimmer that people are realising that they could do this for a living,” says Jill Hoyle, the manager of Tashkeel.

    A hub for young artists and designers, Tashkeel opened in January 2008. It is supported by the avid artist and photographer Lateefa bint Maktoum, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

    The non-profit organisation tries to encourage artists on the ground level by offering free studio space.

    She says that the proliferation of galleries and growing investment market has made art much more high profile. “People are more aware of the role that art plays in life. I think now it is being taken more seriously.”

    Still, the UAE is not a place for starving artists displaying in abandoned warehouses. The blurry-eyed, caffeine-addicted conceptualists of Paris and New York are probably in no rush to move here. For artists who are not selling in six figures, rent is a major obstacle and prohibitively expensive studio space make the UAE “scene” more of a marketplace than a breeding ground.

    Parviz Tanavoli The Wall (Oh Persepolis)

    Parviz Tanavoli The Wall (Oh Persepolis)

    But confidence in the art market is waning alongside tumbling asset prices. Dubai’s stock market has lost close to 70% of its value since the summer. Two of the UAE’s largest mortgage firms, Amlak Finance and Tamweel, were nationalised last week. What is the future for the economy of Dubai? The Guardian reports that

    “Dubai’s free zones, real estate and tourism are all highly susceptible to a global downturn. Real estate is the flagship and if confidence has been knocked, which it clearly has been, it’s in trouble. Now the confidence has gone, credit worthiness has taken a knock,” said Christopher Davidson, a Gulf expert at Durham University.

    Nakheel, the developer of man-made palm tree-shaped islands on which celebrities such as David Beckham have bought homes, announced earlier this week that it had cut 500 jobs -15% of its workforce – and was scaling back projects.

    Though thousands of expatriate professionals are expected to lose their jobs, Dubai’s optimism may not be entirely misplaced. A survey by a leading financial services firm this week predicted that the Gulf as a whole would escape recession, with a growth rate of 3.6% next year.

    And this is not the only voice expressing optimisim for the longer term. Former HSBC chairman David Eldon who has  long term and continuing professional ties with Dubai notes in his blog Eldon-Online

    The reality now is that any hopes of economic immunity from the global meltdown, and any talk of decoupling are now firmly consigned to the fantasy file. All economies are being affected by the global downturn, and that includes Dubai.

    Of course, the other reality is that Dubai has some underlying strengths that have spawned its growth to date. Underlying strengths that remain intact despite the current economic environment. Underlying strengths such as an excellent, if still incomplete, infrastructure a well regulated financial sector and an inherent openness to people, companies and capital from elsewhere. All tied in to solid macroeconomic fundamentals.

    He counters concerns about Dubai’s future growth due to tight credit arguing that the perception of some rating agencies that Dubai lacks the “financial muscle to cover its debt”  is misplaced and that some reporting has been “misleading”. 

    The reality is Dubai has already publicly declared it can cover repayments for the next seven quarters. But the media have a hard time believing senior officials, and reports are grudging in the extreme.

    I wouldn’t write-off Dubai’s resilience, or its future.

    For more reports from Dubai, Middle Eastern art, market watch reports from around the world.

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    Iranian art market booms for younger artists – Artprice

    Posted by artradar on September 7, 2008


    Farhad Moshiri Eshgh

    Farhad Moshiri Eshgh

     

     

    IRANIAN ART MARKET

    “The vitality of the Middle-Eastern market is giving a number of young Iranian artists a healthy price index on the secondary art market” says Artprice’s online magazine Art Market Insight.

    In October 2007, at only his second auction appearance, Christie’s Dubai generated a bid of $50,000 for a painting by Afshin PIRHASHEMI (born 1974) entitled Those Four Days.  Just a month earlier in Paris, Artcurial sold his painting Memory for 6,000 euros and by  April 2008 his triptych ‘Lonely’ created in 2005 commanded an astounding price of $110,000 at Christie’s in Dubai.

    The work of two young Iranian women are beginning to command attention: Shirin ALIABADI and Shadi GHADIRIAN (born in 1973 and 1974 respectively) create works inspired by the challenges facing women. Shadi Ghadirian’s photos show veiled women with contemporary objects and her most famous piece, Stereo, sold for £9,000 (over $18,000) in 2007 at Sotheby’s in London.

    Stimulated by developments in the art market infrastucture including the introduction of art fair, Art Dubai in 2007 and the appearance of auction houses (Christies 2006, Bonhams 2008), contemporary artists from Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon and Iran have seen increasing attention and price inflation.

    Iranian Contemporary Art - Rose Issa - buy

    'Iranian Contemporary Art' by Rose Issa - click to buy book

    Shirin Neshat

    and Farhad Moshiri are two artists who are now well known on the international art scene. Farhad Moshiri became the highest selling Iranian artist when his 2 metre high bronze work ‘The Wall (Oh Persepolis)’ fetched no less than $2.5 million at Christies Dubai in April 2008 trouncing its estimate of $400,000-600,000. Farhah Moshiri is best known for his jewel art pieces in which he covers objects or makes images with fine layers of gold or Swarowski crystals.

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    Buying frenzy lights up Iranian art market

    Posted by artradar on July 10, 2008


    Source: Middle East Times

     

     

     

    IRANIAN ART MARKET The prices have soared by a factor of 20 within two years, the galleries are packed with prospective buyers and the works are both modern and daring, but this is not a description of the art scene in New York, Paris or London, but Tehran. Far removed from the increasingly tense standoff over the country’s nuclear programme and domestic frustration because of rising inflation, Iran’s best known artists are enjoying a huge rise in demand for their work.

     

    Interest in buying art increased in last 2 years

    “For 30 years no one was interested in us. Today everyone wants to buy,” Parviz Tanavoli, 72, Iran’s best known sculptor, told AFP. “People have money. They used to invest it in property. Today they see there are other places to put it.”

    A 1975 sculpture by Tanavoli, “The Wall (Oh Persepolis),” sold in late April for 2.84 million dollars at a Christie’s auction in Dubai — the highest figure ever reached for a contemporary Iranian work.The 1.8-metre-high (6-feet) bronze block was typical of Tanavoli’s intricate style, partly inspired by the ancient art of the Achaemenian empire, and praised by experts as being more than worth its stratospheric price.

    The younger artist Farhad Moshiri, known for his bright three-dimensional paintings of jars emblazoned in calligraphic Persian script, has seen his canvases sell for up to 750,000 dollars.Lesser known artists have seen their work sell at the numerous galleries in upmarket northern Tehran for between 20,000 and 30,000 dollars. Just two years ago the asking price would have been more like 2,000.

     

    More buyers for investment

    The boom is another example of the striking gulf between wealth and poverty in Tehran, where the rich can afford imported cars and luxury apartments while the worst off struggle to make ends meet. Despite the rise in prices there are more buyers than before. Many people want to make investments,” said Shahnaz Kansari, who heads the Moon art gallery in Tehran.

    Amir Hossein Etemad, of the Negarkhaneh Etemad gallery, warned: “I’m worried that this will prove to be nothing more than a speculative bubble that will explode. “But it’s true that the prices were very low before.”

    Abstract tendencies have long appeared the most popular in modern Iranian art, possibly because of the strict rules governing the portrayal of the human form in an Islamic state. Iranian visual art also crosses genres in unusual ways: Cannes prize-winning Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami is also a renowned artist whose stark photography is a major draw at Tehran galleries.

     

    Iranian art crosses genre boundaries

    One of the fathers of Iranian modernist painting was the poet Sohrab Sepheri, considered one of the greatest of all Iranian modern writers, whose abstract landscapes are true collector’s items.”We are at the beginning of the road. More and more there are individual exhibitions by Iranian artists abroad,” said the painter Farideh Lashaie.”Iranian culture used to be known abroad from the names of ancient poets like Hafez, Ferdowsi and Rumi. But painting and contemporary sculpture also have something to say.”As with cinema, people did not expect to see paintings and sculptures like this coming from Iran. Perhaps this explains their success.”

    © 2008 Agence France-Presse

    Image details: Iranians visit an exhibition by female artist Golnaz Afruz at the Mah Gallery in Tehran AFP

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    Posted in Iranian, Market watch, Sculpture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »