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Sotheby’s London Contemporary Art Evening Auction

Yesterday at Sotheby’s in London, a new record was set in sterling for a work by the Iranian-born artist Ali Banisadr, when his painting, The Garden, 2010 (est. £200,000-300,000) sold for £353,000/ $469,031. This was the first time a work by Banisadr had been offered at a Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London and the result surpassed the previous record.  Overall, yesterday’s auction in London totalled £52.2m/ $69.4m.


Ashkan Baghestani, Sotheby’s Contemporary Arab and Iranian Art Specialist, commented: “The record price in sterling achieved for a work by Ali Banisadr yesterday is a clear indicator of the demand for works by this outstanding artist, which has grown significantly over the last few years. His reputation has grown not only among collectors across the Middle East, but also throughout the international art market. Yesterday’s bidding reflected the breadth of his international following, with bidders from the Middle East, the US and from Europe competing. The work came to the market from a European collection and has been acquired by a European collector. We’re delighted to have achieved a record price for the artist for a second time – the first being in our Contemporary Doha sale in 2013, and yesterday, offering a work by Banisadr for the first time in one of our Contemporary Art Evening sales in London, superseding that price with a new record price of £353,000/ $469,031.”


Combining personal history with art historical references, The Garden evokes a panoply of encoded references that are emphasised by the painting’s rich colour palette. Banisadr reimagines Hieronymus Bosch’s masterpiece The Garden of Earthly Delights as an intricately painted ‘orientalist’ panorama.  Further works by Banisadr are held in the collections of The British Museum, London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles among many others.   

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