M.F. Husain ,Raza works go under hammer

Bonhams second dedicated London sale of Modern & Contemporary Middle Eastern & South Asian art will take place in our New Bond Street sale rooms on 2 June and will feature an interesting selection of works of art by some of the most important artists from these regions.

Offered for sale are two works from Farhad Moshiri’s Jar series, one executed in soft golden brown hues, the other in a vivid turquoise-blue against a gold background. Taking his influence from traditional Iranian culture, Moshiri’s jars are fantastic examples of the artist’s skill in rendering conventional, everyday Iranian forms and visuals in an entirely contemporary medium (estimates £40,000-60,000). These are offered alongside an important work by Iranian artist NasrollahAfjehei (SiahMashgh £40,000-60,000) and pieces by FaramarzPilaram, PouranJinchi and AfshinPirhashemi. Three important works by artists JehangirSabavala, DiaAzzawi and Issam El-Said which were exhibited at their first one-man shows are also to be offered for sale.

`Flower study’ by the Indian artist Jehangir Sabavala was sold at his first solo exhibition, in April 1951 at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Bombay. The colourful impressionist inspired depiction of a vase of flowers on a dressing table was painted in Paris in 1950 and bought to India for the exhibition and has been part of a private British collection for over twenty years (est. £20,000-30,000).

One of the most important Arab and Iraqi artists, DiaAzzawi’s`Untitled’ (£4,000-6,000) was sold at his first solo exhibition at the Wasiti Gallery Baghdad in 1964. It was acquired by the architect Gordon Jones who lived in the Middle East between the mid 1950s and the late 1970s. Along with his artist wife he was part of the local social scene in Beirut in the 60s and acquired numerous works by other important Arab artists such as FatehMoudarres, Paul Guiragossian and Saleh Al-Jumaei which are also offered for sale.

The Iraqi artist and scholar Issam El-Said’s work `We made every living thing of water’, was exhibited at the artist’s first one man exhibition at the Woodstock Gallery in London in 1962. It was gifted to the current owner’s mother who knew the artist in Iraq and the UK and had expressed a liking for the work at the exhibition. It was whilst studying in London that he held his first exhibition, aided by Princess FahrelnissaZeid, who helped by printing the exhibition catalogue and writing a forward for the exhibition in which she described the artist’s works as ‘a beautiful prayer of a young and talented artist.’(£8,000-12,000).

An important work by the South Asian artist Sadequain is offered alongside other highlights by the foremost Pakistani painters A.R. Chughtai, BashirMirza and JamilNaqsh. ‘Three sitting figures’ was painted by Sadequain in Karachi in 1963 and is from the artist’s ‘blue and ochre’ period. Before it was acquired by a private UK collector it formed part of the collection of Jean Forges, who along with A. Fried was the artist’s Parisian dealer in the 1960s.

Two works by Indian artist’s MaqbolFida Husain along with an interesting work by BhupenKhakhar titled `Republic Day’ are to be offered alongside high quality pieces by Indian artists such as Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, SyedHaiderRaza, B.Prabha and SadanandBakre.

Artists from the Arab regions are well represented in the auction. Works by important Arab artists MoustafaFarroukh, Paul Guiragossian, Suad Al-Attar and Faisal Samra are offered alongside an early oil on canvas by the foremost Egyptian artist Mahmoud Said.

`Laundry at Kobba’ was painted in 1920 and it is clear that at the time Said was still heavily under the influence of the work of the impressionist painters he would have studied in Paris. The work is from an important Egyptian collection is offered with an estimate of £20,000-30,000. This is accompanied by works by fellow countrymen Mohammad Naghi, Seif Wanly, Adam Henein and Adel El-Siwi.

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