NEW YORK—A small selection of Iranian contemporary art in a sale of contemporary art at Bonhams in New York on May 11 was met with enthusiastic demand as 14 out of 20 lots found buyers, yielding a total of $344,345. As the arts market in the Middle East continues to develop, major auctions in cities including Dubai and Doha have fueled a growing focus on the work of artists from Iraq, Iran and Pakistan.
At Bonhams, S19R, 2005, an oil, acrylic, gold leaf and adhesive on canvas by Farhad Moshiri, sold for $79,300 on a $60,000/80,000 estimate. Afshin Pirhashemi’s oil Key Job, 2009, sold for $48,800 on an estimate of $12,000/18,000. An untitled 2009 diptych by Farideh Lashai sold for $30,500 against an estimate of $15,000/25,000. Devastation 2, 2008, a triptych by Mania Akbari, sold for $7,320 against a $3,500/5,500 estimate, and Parviz Tanavoli’s fiberglass sculpture Heech, 2005, was sold for $33,550, nearly double the estimate of $12,000/18,000.