Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 December 2019

Princess Alia Al-Senussi and Elisa Sednaoui Dellal team up for Arab-influenced art auction

Proceeds from the sale, held by Sotheby's, will be used to support educational programmes for children around the world

Elisa Sednaoui Dellal and Princess Alia Al Senussi have co-curated the Contemporary Curated auction at Sotheby's. Courtesy Sotheby's
Elisa Sednaoui Dellal and Princess Alia Al Senussi have co-curated the Contemporary Curated auction at Sotheby's. Courtesy Sotheby's

When picking pieces to feature in their co-curated auction, Princess Alia Al-Senussi and Elisa Sednaoui Dellal drew on their childhood experiences in Egypt.

The art patron and consultant, who stems from Libyan royalty, and Sednaoui Dellal, a model and philanthropist of Italian, Egyptian and French heritage, both spent their formative years in Cairo, a time that inspired them when compiling Contemporary Curated, an auction due to be held at Sotheby’s London this month.

"It has been fascinating to trade stories of Egypt, of our lives that touch the creative worlds," Al-Senussi told Sotheby's head of sales, Ashkan Baghestani, in an interview. "Egypt is at the centre of our bond — truly 'Um Al Donia', the mother of our world."

Al-Senussi, who holds a PhD in politics from London's School of Oriental and African Studies, is the representative for Art Basel in the UK and the Mena region, and also serves on the Tate Modern advisory council.

The duo have selected works by the likes of Olafur Eliasson, Damien Hirst and Tom Wesselmann for the sale, bringing together a range of post-war and contemporary artists.

There is also a focus on artists from the Arab world, with Youssef Nabil, Basim Magdy, Etel Adnan and Nadia Ayari among the names donating works to Al-Senussi and Sednaoui Dellal's cause.

"What I am passionate about is creating learning spaces, where individuals have the opportunity to explore personal interests, learn fundamental life skills, widen their perspective and deepen their awareness," Sednaoui Dellal told Baghestani. "This is reflected in my selection, which was undoubtedly also influenced by my upbringing as a citizen of the world with roots in France, Italy and the Middle East."

Youssef Nabil's print of Faten Hamama is one of the works being sold. Courtesy Sotheby's
Youssef Nabil's print of Faten Hamama is one of the works being sold. Courtesy Sotheby's

Proceeds from 10 works will go towards the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation’s Funtasia project, a programme that supports educational activities in Luxor and Italy, with a view to expand to Mexico, the USA and beyond.

Nabil's Faten Hamama, a 2008 print of the famed Egyptian actress, is among those being sold to benefit the non-profit.

The Contemporary Curated auction will be held at Sotheby's London on Tuesday, November 19, with selected works on exhibition at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries between Friday, November 15 and Monday, November 18.

Updated: November 13, 2019 09:01 AM

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