DUBAI: British auction house Sotheby’s is hosting a series of talks at Diriyah Biennale Foundation’s inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah from March 4-13.
Sotheby’s, one of the supporting partners of the foundation’s biennale, will host four talks and panel discussions led by the auction house’s experts in the field.
The topics will span from the myriad influences of Islamic art on the modern jewelry-making industry to the most significant movements in Arab art today.
The partnership follows on from Sotheby’s support of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation’s first contemporary art biennale in presenting the first Digital Arts Forum and NFT exhibition in Saudi Arabia in February 2022.
Edward Gibbs, chairman of Sotheby’s Middle East and India, said in a statement: “Sotheby’s has a strong history of supporting cultural programmes in the Middle East – underpinned by a commitment to educational outreach and diversifying cultural initiatives.
“We are excited to have partnered with the Diriyah Biennale Foundation for a second time, following our support of the Kingdom’s first contemporary art biennale last year, continuing to share our expertise in this area.”
On March 4, Alexandra Roy, Sotheby’s head of sale for 20th Century Art / Middle East, will host a talk called “A Day in the Life of a Specialist,” during which she will present five key moments in her career at the auction house, talking through rare objects that are consigned to auction, the importance of provenance and how these standout pieces go on to achieve record prices.
On March 7, Gibbs’s talk “The History of Collecting Islamic Art” will take a look at the trajectory of Islamic art collecting over the decades, touching on the many Western institutions that have important holdings of Islamic art.
On the same day, Sophie Stevens, a jewelry specialist based at Sotheby’s Dubai, will present a talk titled “Indian and Islamic Influences and the rebirth of Egyptomania in 20th Century Jewelry Design.”
It will explore the role of Islamic and Mughal art in jewelry design, from the renowned designs of Cartier in the 20th century to the continuation of these motifs in recent high jewellery collections. The talk will also cover pearls from the Middle East.
Mai Eldib, Sotheby’s Middle East head of sales, will give a historical overview of modern and contemporary Arab art over the course of the 20th century, touching on the key movements and artists across the region in her “An Exploration of Modern & Contemporary Arab Art” talk on March 13.
A second series of talks will take place in April, although the foundation is yet to release the schedule.