Fair opening sales

Sales signal healthy interest in Modern market and some contemporary booths clean up


Dealers in the contemporary sections of Art Dubai have reported fairly brisk sales at the fair this week, with local and regional private collectors buying up works in a variety of media across a wide range of price points. A spokesman for the London-based gallery Victoria Miro, which is showing works by artists such as Idris Khan and Alex Hartley, says that “the entire booth had almost sold out” (works across the stand range in price from $20,000 to $800,000). The local gallery The Third Line has a solo booth dedicated to the 2017 Abraaj Group Art Prize winner Rana Begum. Almost all of the pieces by the Bangladeshi artist had sold on the first day of the fair (price range of £6,000-£25,000). 

Selma Feriani Gallery sold a series of 16 works on paper by the Algerian artist Yazid Oulab to a regional private collection ($48,000); Vigo Gallery’s pen and ink on paper by Modern master Ibrahim El Salahi (Untitled, 1964) sold for £22,000 to a Dubai private collector; three mono- chromatic works (N.D.-n.d.) by Mario Garcia Torres, priced at €8,500 each, with Galleria Franco Noero were bought by a private regional collector, a US collector and a regional institution.

A lenticular print by Rafael Rozendaal (Into Time, 16 09 01; 2016) with Upstream Gallery was sold to a Saudi private collector for $14,000. African artist Omar Ba is making waves at Galerie Daniel Templon; three works by the Senegal-born practitioner were sold including Dust Storm in Kidal (2013; €30,000). Kristin Hjellegjerde also witnessed interest in African art with sales of three works by Dawit Abebe for $15,000 each. 

Sales at Art Dubai Modern were encouraging with strong general interest, and a fairly even split between known and new clients. At time of going to press on Wednesday evening, Cairo’s Art Talks reported sales of two Ghaleb Khater and two Mamdouh Ammar oils to new and existing clients. London’s Grosvenor has a solo exhibit of work by Indian master S.H. Raza, of which five had sold, two to institutions and three to private collectors. Elmarsa gallery of Tunisia and Dubai basked in the glow of “many sales” of works by Abdelkader Guermaz, including Dunes Perverses (1978) at $75,000. Elmarsa also confirmed sales of Aly Ben Salem’s The Woman And The Falconer to a new collector for approximately $60,000 whilst Woman Resting And Peacock went to an existing client for around $60,000. Ramallah’s Gallery One, presenting work by Sliman Mansour, saw healthy sales to new clients, including On The Edge (1985) for $60,000, Sisters ($20,000), Sad Tunes I ($7,000) Sad Tunes II ($14,000) and Harvest ($12,000). 

Jeddah’s Hafez Gallery reported three significant sales, including Mohammed Ghaleb Khater’s The March (1970s) at $75,000, and Stamp Of Nation (1970) for around $80,000 while sculptor Abdel Hadi Al Weshahi’s The Oud Player (1990) was sold for around $45,000.