Sotheby’s has opened an exhibition of Islamic ceramics as well as Modern and Contemporary Arab and Iranian art, ahead of sales which are both set to take place in London on October 4.
The exhibition, being held at the Ritz-Carlton, features 16 ceramic items from the collection of Harvey Plotnick, and a selection of 10 paintings which have been brought to Doha to give potential buyers a chance to examine the kinds of items that will be on offer in both sales.
Gulf Times spoke to senior director and head of the Sotheby’s Middle East department, Edward Gibbs ahead of the opening, and he expressed his excitement at what he described as “an exquisite collection” of Islamic ceramics.
“Plotnick discovered Islamic ceramics at Le Louvre and started collecting in 1992,” he said, adding “he was meticulous and only bought the best of the best – these pieces are all museum quality.”
Gibbs singled out the Abbassid pottery bowl with Kufic inscription as his favourite piece in the collection, highlighting its simplicity and minimalistic style as “very powerful.”
The piece dates back to the 9th century and has an estimated sale price of between £150,000 and £200,000.
Gibbs noted that art appreciation continues to grow in Qatar, with increased interest in each event that Sotheby’s holds here.
“We’ve been coming to Qatar for four years, but we have relationships with people here that go back over decades,” he said, adding “each year we bring more and more, which is a reflection of our commitment to the development of culture here and also the growing interest in the region.”
“We have seen increased enthusiasm, and there are many private collectors here as well,” he noted, “our sales have grown in value and it is a lot to do with the participation of people from this region.”
“We are very proud and excited to be part of the government’s efforts to develop culture and we will assist in any way possible,” added Gibbs.
Specialist Ruba Asfahani explained that the collection of paintings on display at the exhibition is aimed at providing a taste of what will be on offer in the 123 lot sale, with a selection of art from across the region, displaying a wide variety of styles.
“Modern Arab art is becoming more and more important and people are realising this fact,” she said, adding “we have even seen some amazing work being produced from Egypt during the trouble there.”
The exhibition also features a selection of Iraqi artists’ work, providing an insight into how the art scene has developed there and revealing the inspiration behind a lot of current artists’ work.
“We have a really exciting collection, and we wanted to show people how the works are connected across time,” added Asfahani.
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