Sotheby’s calligraphic auction set for Dec. 16

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Sotheby’s has announced that its landmark calligraphic auction ‘Hurouf: The Art of the Word,’ which will take place on December 16 at Ritz-Carlton Doha, carries a pre-sale estimate of more than $4mn.
The 145-lot auction will showcase works by more than 65 artists from 24 countries, with 82 pieces on sale which are contemporary interpretations of calligraphy.
The auction is described as part of ‘Doha Capital of Arab Culture 2010’ celebrations.
‘Hurouf: The Art of the Word’ traces the developments of the Arabic script from its inception, with kufic leaves dating from the 8th century, through popular calligraphy of the 19th century to the highest calibre works by international calligraphers working today.
In selecting some of the most talented, revered and innovative calligraphers working with the Arabic script from, among others, Japan, the US, Turkey, the Middle East, China and the Subcontinent, the auction aims to represent the developments of an art form that has entered its second millennium.
The sale features monumental pieces on canvas, in bronze and neon, among others, by leading artists such as Farhad Moshiri, Ahmed Moustafa, Parviz Tanavoli, Hassan Massoudy, Mohamed Ehsai, Ali Omar Ermes, Sadequain and Laila Shawa, and of particular relevance to Qatar are local artists Yousef Ahmad and Ali Hassan and resident artist M F Hussain.
“We believe that the regional cultural hub of Doha will provide the best platform to present such a themed sale,” Sotheby’s Middle East and India Department deputy director Dalya Islam said.
The works will go on public display at Ritz-Carlton Doha from December 13.
The highlights include: Isra wa Mi’raj (The Night Journey and Ascension), oil and watercolour by Ahmed Moustafa (Egyptian), estimate $700,000–900,000.

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