Saudi art exhibition kicks off in Los Angeles

An old man puts his hand on a carpet. Silver rings and henna were part of the Saudi traditions – Nasir Al-Nasir. (Supplied)
Updated 03 April 2018
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Saudi art exhibition kicks off in Los Angeles

Saudi Art Days, an exhibition at Linwood Dunn Theater in Los Angeles that starts on April 2, aims to provide an insight into the Kingdom’s rapidly changing society, and to strengthen US-Saudi cultural relations.
The three-day event, which coincides with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the US, is an initiative of the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).
The center aims to support creative young Saudi artists, and to enable them to publicize and distribute their work locally and internationally.
On the exhibition’s agenda, there are three main programs. The Saudi film industry evening will screen 13 Saudi films and hold discussions between Saudi filmmakers and notable directors, writers and critics.
The second event is a photography exhibition under the theme: “The Kingdom of Colors.” It will promote photographs taken via conventional photography and phone cameras by 16 Saudi artists to illustrate the many layers, flavors and fabrics of the Kingdom.
The Video Art pavilion will be held following the photography exhibition, presenting the artwork and ideas of five Saudi artists.


History goes under the hammer as London celebrates Islamic art

Updated 27 April 2018
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History goes under the hammer as London celebrates Islamic art

  • Leading auction houses this week embarked on an 1,800-year artistic odyssey with treasures from across the region
  • A painting by the late Egyptian painter Mahmoud Said fetched the highest bid £633,000

LONDON: For aficionados of Middle Eastern art, London was the place to be this week. During the biannual Islamic Art Week, the big auction houses held sales of everything from antiquities to modern-art installations, with many works receiving well above their estimates.

Sotheby’s 20th Century Art/Middle East on Tuesday featured two Saudi artists, Ahmed Mater and Maha Malluh, alongside works by  Morocco’s Farid Belkahia, Lebanon’s Paul Guiragossian, Iraq’s Shakir Hassan Al-Said and Syria’s Louai Kayali. A painting by the late Egyptian painter Mahmoud Said, often a record-setter at auctions of Arab art, fetched the highest bid: “Adam and Eve,” at £633,000 (it was estimated at £300,00-£500,000). 

The same day, Sotheby’s held the seventh season of its Orientalist Sale, with Edwin Lord Weeks’ painting “Rabat (The Red Gate)” drawing the highest bid at £573,000, above its estimate of £200,000-£300,000.

At Bonham’s, a pair of gold pendant earrings from the collection of Maharani Jindan Kaur, the mother of the last Sikh ruler of the Punjab, sold for £175,000, eight times the original estimate. 

At Sotheby’s Arts of the Islamic World auction on Wednesday, an Iznik pottery flask raised the highest price, £669,000, well above the estimated £60,000-£80,000.

The Christie’s auction on Thursday featured Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds, including Oriental rugs and carpets. A rare palimpsest of a Qur’an written over an earlier Coptic text, thought to be from Egypt and to date back to the second century, was bought for £596,750.