For the first time in the region, Sotheby’s Dubai will host an exhibition featuring works from its $45 million New York Contemporary Art auctions. The big auction takes place every two years in May and November and sets the benchmark for the global art market.
Contemporary masterpieces on display will include works by Italian artist Alighiero Boetti and internationally acclaimed pop artist Andy Warhol, as well as a section of Sotheby’s watches and Egyptian-themed jewelry from Tiffany & Co.
The exhibition will be open to the public in Sotheby’s DIFC Gallery from September 26-29, before traveling to New York and Geneva to be auctioned.
Read on to see some of the works included in the auction:
‘Mappa’ (Map) by Alighiero Boetti (1989-91)
Italian conceptual artist, monumental work by Boetti, Mapof his series on the study of maps, is inspired by non-Western art and culture.
Having traveled to Africa, South America, East and Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan among others, Boetti was influenced by concepts and techniques that he incorporated into his work and practice.
Created during a visit to Kabul, Afghanistan in 1971 and later to Peshawar, Pakistan, it took Boetti years to complete the series of large-scale maps. Written around the edges of the work is a dedication to the group of artisans who helped Boetti create the work. Woven in Italian and English are the words: “Made in Peshawar Pakistan by Afghan people in 1989 and 90 and 91.”
The work and the entire series are a record of changes to the physical borders and flags of nations around the world, transforming the pieces into an archival record of geopolitics from 1971 to 1989.
A selection of works by Andy Warhol
One of the most famous and internationally influential artists, Warhol’s range of work is instantly recognizable for its unique style and inclusion of imagery from popular culture.
Sotheby’s will exhibit 28 complete sets of prints by Warhol, showing his prolific and diverse work.
‘Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom’ (1985)
This renowned series of colorful portraits of Queen Elizabeth II is glamorous, imposing and illustrates Warhol’s commentary on fame and fame.
The source for the work was the official photographic portrait made for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, which Warhol recreated in his portraiture style using bold lines and lively color.
Celebrity, portraiture, consumption and decoration, themes of Warhol’s work, are clearly illustrated in these prints, which are part of a series entitled reigning queens.
‘Muhammad Ali’ (1978)
As part of his series Athletes, Warhol photographed boxer Muhammad Ali. The artist, who was not interested in sport, was more attracted by the aspect of notoriety and cultural relevance of which the athletes became the symbols.
Ali was recently named “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and Warhol found in him the perfect subject to capture who was not only in peak physical condition, dominating his domain, but was also a major cultural figure.
From Chanel perfume n°5 to the Volkswagen Beetle via Apple computers, Warhol Ads portfolio reimagines infamous advertisements and the logos of globally recognized brands.
Warhol takes these symbols of consumerism to comment on the power of advertising while elevating them to high art.
Sotheby’s contemporary art exhibition will also include jewelry as part of its Egyptomania segment. Egyptian-themed creations from Italian jewelry house Castellani and the work of renowned Tiffany designer Louis Comfort for Tiffany & Co. These pieces will be unveiled in Dubai for the first time ahead of the sale. Selected watches from brands such as Rolex, Vacheron Constantin and Breguet will also be presented.
Updated: September 21, 2022, 11:49 a.m.