I attended the Ayyam Beirut sale on July 15, and was extremely impressed! The attendance was great, with people filling up almost every inch of the auction room. The auctioneer, Mr. Khaled Sammawi (Ayyam’s owner) did a great job and kept everyone entertained throughout the auction! There were almost 60 lots on auction, including paintings and photographs by some of the arab world’s finest artists. The total result of the auction came just below $750,000. It was a great result! While a few works did not manage to be auctioned off, and some sold for above their estimates, the majority of works were sold within their estimates.
Some of the highlights of the auction were:
– A Safwan Dahoul piece that went for $96,000, which was above estimate
– An abstract canvas by Hussein Madi that went for $48,000, which represents one of the highest prices paid to date for the artist’s work
– A Jamil Molaeb painting, ‘Fas’, went for $48,000
– Oussama Diab’s ‘The Creation’ which was sold above estimate for $28,000
Ayyam Gallery has correctly predicted that there is a market for art auctions in the Middle East, and the gallery has conducted several succesfull auctions in both Beirut and Dubai. They are the first Middle Eastern art gallery that I know of that conducts auctions of their own. It is a great idea and has proven lucrative for the gallery. Kudos to them for putting together such a great event! Events like these really help strengthen Beirut’s art scene!