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The new Modern & Contemporary African and Middle Eastern Art Auction on 11th May will include property from the collection of influential art patron and philanthropist H.E. Dr Mohammed Said Farsi (1935-2019).

Tahia Halim (Egyptian 1919 – 2003), Women Braiding Hair. Oil on canvas. Signed in English T. HALIM lower left. Provenance: Private Collection, London. Estimate: £20,000 – £25,000

The inaugural Modern & Contemporary African and Middle Eastern Art Auction at Olympia Auctions on 11th May consisting of 88 lots will include paintings, prints and sculpture from Africa including the Maghreb, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. The department is particularly delighted to offer property from the collection of H.E. Dr Mohammed Said Farsi (1935 – 2019). Dr Farsi stands as one of the most influential figures in the recent development of Middle Eastern visual arts and culture. The acclaimed Farsi collection continues to garner interest from collectors and institutions alike, comprising some of the finest examples of the region’s contemporary cultural expression.

Dr Farsi’s fondness for Egypt from his experience studying in Alexandria shaped his tastes and drove the formation of his modern Egyptian art collection. As he said “Living intimately within Alexandria’s enchanted atmosphere of the 1950s had the greatest effect in forming my artistic consciousness.” Coming to sale from his collection are 25 lots of works by Egyptian artists including Abdel Hadi Al Gazzar (Egyptian 1925-1966), Adham Wanly (Egyptian 1908-1959), Hamed Nada (Egyptian 1924-1990), Mohammed Naghi (Egyptian 1888-1956) and Seif Wanly (Egyptian 1906-1979). Estimates range from £400 – £5,000.

Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi’s collection has come to shape both the Middle Eastern contemporary art scene and the wider context of modern art patronage.

Reza Derakshani (Iranian b. 1952), Pome Green. Oil on canvas, unframed. Private collection, Milan. Acquired directly from the artist. Estimate: £20,000 – £30,000

Another highlight by an Egyptian artist is ‘Four Women braiding each other’s hair’ by Tahia Halim (1919- 2003), a painter celebrated for her poetic and folkloric works. This comes from a Private Collection in London and carries an estimate of £20,000 – £25,000. In the Middle Eastern section, the sale will include works from the Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. There is also a strong selection of Iranian works including the striking ‘Pome Green’ by Reza Derakshani (b.1952), estimate: £20,000 – £30,000. Derakshani is known both in the Middle East and in the West as one of the most significant contemporary Iranian artists. His work features in many public art collections including The British Museum, London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art; The Russian Museum in St Petersburg, Russia and the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Germany.

Price points in the sale range from £300 – £30,000.

Head of department Janet Rady says “I am looking forward to this inaugural auction of Modern & Contemporary African and Middle Eastern Works of Art at Olympia Auctions on 11th May. We are thrilled to include property from the collection of H.E. Dr Mohammed Said Farsi and look forward to showcasing the particularly interesting group of Egyptian artists from the collection. There is something for everybody with works by established artists from the distinctive countries of Africa and the Middle East region well as new discoveries to be made. This market is flourishing and I hope to encourage interest and engagement in this new area for Olympia Auctions.”

The Modern & Contemporary African and Middle Eastern Art Auction catalogue is now online at www.olympiaauctions.com.

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