By Nazanine Nouri
Magic of Persia, a nonprofit that promotes Iranian contemporary art and culture, is holding a live auction in London on June 28 where works by artists including Marjan Satrapi, Peybak, Reza Aramesh, Bita Ghezelayagh and Soheila Sokhanvari will be up for bidding.
The auction, led by a Christie’s auctioneer, will be held at the Pavilion Gallery – Cromwell Place. It will be preceded by a discussion chaired by Professor Sussan Babaie of the Courtauld Institute of Art. Titled “Curators, Institutions and the Market: 20 odd years in the making of a contemporary Iranian art scene,” it will include speakers Rose Issa; the director of Delfina Foundation, Aaron Cesar; and Bonhams director of Middle Eastern, Islamic and South Asian Art, Nima Sagharchi.
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Both events are part of a series that MOP is organizing between June 28 and July 2 as it resumes its public activities after a two-year interruption on account of the pandemic. Also scheduled on June 30 is a silent auction held throughout the evening at Cromwell Place, a live performance by Iranian-American artist Darvish Fakhr, and a musical performance by London-based artist Michael-Henry. Magic of Persia was established by Shirley Elghanian in London in 2004 to promote Iranian art and culture to a global audience through programs focusing on modern and contemporary Iranian art, music, media and academia in partnership with world-class institutions including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Museum and the Delfina Foundation. The charity’s primary source of funding are annual auctions of artworks generously donated by established and emerging Iranian artists. Middle Eastern and Iranian art will also be on display at Cromwell Place between June 28 and July 2, thanks to four galleries all collaborate with MOP: Tabari Art Space (Dubai), Janet Rady Fine Art (London and Dubai) in association with TEAL EDITIONS, Selma Feriani Gallery (Tunisia) and AB-ANBAR (Tehran).
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Janet Rady Fine Art will present Les Femmes de Madi, a selection of giclée prints by Lebanese contemporary master Hussein Madi in association with TEAL EDITIONS, founded in Beirut by Mazen Soueid.
Tabari Artspace will feature Lebanese artist Tagreed Darghouth’s “To My Father From Van Gogh’s Bouquets.”
Selma Feriani Gallery will present “Over The Edge” by Tunisian artist Thameur Mejri.
AB-ANBAR’s group exhibition “Thingamajig” will showcase more than 35 works of leading contemporary Iranian artists including Reza Aramesh, Bita Ghezelayagh, Peybak and Soheila Sokhanvari.
MOP’s other programs have included: the Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize (MOP CAP); family days that have brought together more than 120,000 people at the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum; artist residencies and exhibitions at the Delfina Foundation, Parasol Unit and Saatchi Gallery in London; scholarships and grants in higher education at the Royal College of Art, London Film School, and Goldsmiths University of London; and a series of artists’ panel discussions on modern and contemporary Iranian art in collaboration with the British Museum.