Art Radar Asia

Contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond

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    Art Radar Asia News conducts original research and scans global news sources to bring you selected topical stories about the taste-changing, news-making and the up and coming in Asian contemporary art.

Posts Tagged ‘Turkish art’

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

Posted by artradar on July 28, 2010


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.


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

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Posted in Artist Nationality, Auctions, Business of art, Calligraphy, Market watch, Middle Eastern, Qatar, Styles, Words | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Turkish art another fad? The lowdown on this new market

Posted by artradar on March 5, 2009


In the week of Sotheby’s inaugural sale of Turkish art, Art Radar gets the lowdown on the Turkish art market from Anders Petterson, Managing Director of research company ArtTactic.


Sotheby’s holds its inaugural sale of Turkish contemporary art  this month – why is Turkish contemporary art receiving attention now?

The local art scene in Turkey has experienced a boom in new art institutions since 2004, from galleries, artist-run spaces, privately funded museums and art centres, to art fairs and auctions. At the same time the value of the domestic Turkish art auction market has quadrupled in the eight years after 2000. The international auction houses have been keeping a close eye on these developments and are beginning to test the market now.

But what about the recession? Does it make sense for Sotheby’s to launch a new category now?

Yes this is a valid issue. Arguably this is not an ideal time to launch a new category, perhaps the decision was made in better times. On the other hand there is a base of collectors and strong institutional support. Unlike other emerging art markets this is an art scene with an established infrastructure which has been overlooked by international collectors. Furthermore Christie’s tested the market in October 2008 when it included Turkish modern and contemporary artists in the Dubai contemporary art sale. Eleven of the fifteen lots sold which was a robust result.

Istanbul holds its Biennal in 2009 and will become the European Capital of Culture in 2010 which could give the arts scene further impetus over the next year or so.

Are there any other auction houses selling or planning to sell contemporary Turkish art?

There are several local auction houses and it is rumoured that Phillips de Pury and Bonhams plan to follow in the footsteps of Sothebys.

Is there a secondary market? Which are the leading galleries focusing on contemporary Turkish art?

The gallery scene has expanded considerably over the last two years. New galleries have opened showing  cutting edge art alongside the more conservative galleries which date back to the 80s and 90s. If you are interested in delving further, our report on the Turkish art market profiles approximately a dozen galleries with information about when they opened, who runs them and what kind of art they focus on.

Are the contemporary artists in the Sotheby’s auction new to the auction scene or do they have an auction history?

Out of the artists born after 1950, 44% have never sold at auction and most of the rest have sold a few works in domestic auctions in Turkey. The exceptions are Mustafa Horasan, Kezban Arca Batibeki, Bedri Baykam and Kemal Onsoy who sell frequently at auction.

It sounds like this auction will be an intereting test for the future of theTurkish art market. If it is successful will it be yet another international art market fad?

While this is possible of course, I hope not. In its favour is its strong infrastructure of galleries, curators, museums and not for profits. Read our report for information on the most important of these in each category. Prices of Turkish art are cheap relative to Indian, Iranian and Chinese art and that could help too.

Find out more about ArtTactic’s 20 page report on the Turkish Modern and Contemporary Art Market Feb 2009

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Posted in Auctions, Interviews, London, Market watch, Overviews, Turkish, UK | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sothebys inaugural sale of contemporary Turkish art – video – 5 artists talk

Posted by artradar on February 24, 2009


Sotheby’s is holding its inaugural sale of Turkish art on 4 March 2009 in London. Check out the art and see 5 Turkish contemporary artists talking about their paintings, photographs and sculptures in the sale.

Themes of war, imprisonment, fighting and human sacrifice run through the works. Power and powerlessness are expressed in both social commentary works referencing feminism and the more political works such as Nasif Topcuoglu’s  Abu Ghraib-inspired photograph Lamentations .

Click here for Turkish contemporary art video

Featured artists:

  • Taner Ceylan discusses his work Spiritual 2008, a photo-realistic painting of blood-dribbling fighter in motion.
Taner Ceylan, Spiritual, paint

Taner Ceylan, Spiritual, paint

  • Female artist Hale Tenger talks about Invainers of the Lost Arc II 1992, a brass installation of male figures spiralling down into a void expressing her fiery feminism at that time. In Balloon Loan II 2008 the topic of depression is depicted in a photograph in which the only coloured objects are a row of balloons floating on the sea soon to be shot with a gun.
Nasif Topcuoglu, Lamentations, photograph

Nasif Topcuoglu, Lamentations, photograph

  • Nasif Topcuoglu is a photographer who reconstructs Baroque paintings with contemporary youths replacing the original figures. His works are sexually-charged and his interest in the sacrifice of youth as a continuing phenomenon  is evident in both Sacrifice: The Story of Isaac 2008 and in the more political work Lamentations 2007 which references Abu Ghraib.
  • Other artists include ‘bright young thing’ Leyla Gediz and another female artist Canaan Senol whose work The Transparent Police Station 2008 shows nude and uniformed figures trapped in a plexiglass brick wall. Ansen Atilla‘s ‘inspired’ photograph The Devil May Load 2008 captures a violent scene of a gun-toting figure constructed with household and everyday objects.

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Posted in Auctions, Classic/Contemporary, London, Market watch, Painting, Photography, Political, Prison, Sculpture, Turkish, UK, Videos, War, Women power | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »