Libyan artists painting auctioned off in Dubai for Syrian refugees
DUBAI // Proceeds from the sale of a painting by a prominent Libyan artist will help refugees from the Syrian war.
The Sixth Ode by Ali Ermes is a depiction of a poem from the Muallaqat Al Sabaa, a collection of seven pre-Islamic Arabic poems.
The artwork is estimated to be worth between US$120,000 (Dh440,784) and $180,000, Christie’s auction house said.
Christie’s said the painting was expected to fetch the highest price in its sale of modern and contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art next month in Dubai.
Ermes gave his piece to Philanthropy Age, a quarterly magazine published in the UAE, to be sold for charity.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees would receive half of the proceeds.
The Muallaqat are considered among the most important works of early Arabic poetry.
Ermes finished The Sixth Ode in 1993 as a part of a group of works celebrating the anthology.
The poem was composed by Antar ibn Shaddad, a poet and fighter born in northern Saudi Arabia during the sixth century.
Ermes, whose works mostly focus on Arabic and Islamic letters, poetry and art, used the poem’s 85 lines with layers of orange, red and violet, varying the size of the letters. The painting is acrylic and ink on paper mounted on canvas and is 250 centimetres by 225cm.
Other works have highlighted masterpieces from Arabic literature such as writings by Al Mutanabbi or Abul Ala Al Maari.
His pieces are featured in galleries including the British Museum in London and in private collections such as the Royal Collection of the Sultanate of Oman, the artist’s website says.
His painting The Continuum of Resolve, or Tawasul Al Himam, was commissioned to commemorate Dubai’s winning bid to host the World Expo in 2020.
“Mr Ermes is one of the leading figures from North Africa in the cultural and social Arab world,” said Hala Khayat, head of sales at Christie’s.
The auction is to take place at Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel in Dubai on March 19 at 7pm and streamed live on www.christies.com for internet bids.
Other artists whose works are being sold include Shafic Abboud from Lebanon and Farhad Moshiri from Iran.
Updated: February 17, 2014 04:00 AM