By Tom Westcott.
Tripoli, 1 March, 2013:
An artwork by Libyan artist Arwa Abouon, featured in an upcoming Christie’s auction in Dubai of . . .[restrict]Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art, will be the first Libyan piece at the auction in six years.
‘Juan Nuwarr’ is a limited-edition digital print in a lightbox, created in 2008. It shows two young boys in an old sepia photograph, with 3D glasses super-imposed on their faces. Christie’s describes it as: “A powerful juxtaposition of what was then young and must now be old, with the jarring, brightly-coloured glasses.”
Matthew Paton, Head of Communications at Christie’s, told the Libya Herald that Libyan artists were generally not well-represented at its Dubai auction house. Specialising in modern and contemporary art from the Arab world, the auctioneers holds two sales a year.
Abouon is the first Libyan artist to be represented at Christie’s in Dubai since 2007, when a work by Ali Omar Ermes was sold.
‘Juan Nuwarr’ will be in the second part of the April sale. This features works from newer artists, many of whom, including Abouon, are having their work offered at auction for the first time.
Christie’s estimates that ‘Juan Nuwarr’ will fetch between $4,000 and $6,000.
“The themes addressed in my works stem directly from my life experience as a female artist living and working between cultures,” said Abouon, who was brought up in Canada. “And yet the aim is to show how a single person’s ‘double vision’ can produce images that possess much wider social effects by collapsing racial, cultural and religious borders.”
Tripoli-born, 31-year-old Abouon is best known for her photographic work with ‘graphic interventions.’ She has exhibited widely since 2004, with shows in Canada, Libya, Europe and across the Arab world.
Dubai, Paton said, was a very young but “incredibly vibrant and exciting” art market. “The Middle East region is very interesting in terms of modern art,” he added. When English auctioneers Christies set up in Dubai in 2006, there were only a handful of art galleries in the Emirate but now, as the art scene has grown, there are over 85.
The public will be able to view the artworks included in the forthcoming sale at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel on 14 and 15 April. The auction will take place on 16 and 17 April. [/restrict]