PRESS RELEASE | GLOBAL | AUGUST 2,2021
Abdulnasser Gharem’s, The Capitol Dome,
TO BE OFFERED IN AN ONLINE SELLING EXHIBITION
OF SCULPTURE FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Abdulnasser Gharem’s, The Capitol Dome
Worldwide – An ambitious selling exhibition of large-scale sculpture will be held online across the summer by Christie’s Private Sales team. A highlight is Abdulnasser Gharem’s, The Capitol Dome, being offered as part of The Future is Unwritten Healing Arts initiative to support a global COVID-19 response through the arts.
Dream Big II includes artists from the Middle East, the Americas, as well as throughout Europe and India, spanning over a century of sculpture making. Included are to date the American artists Jeff Koons and Roy Lichtenstein, Switzerland by Ugo Rondinone, Italy by Giacomo Manzu, from the United Kingdom Marc Quinn, Barbara Hepworth, Barry Flanagan, the Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem, France is represented with works by Aristide Maillol, Gaston Lachaise, Fernand Léger, and Niki de Saint Phalle, India by Anish Kapoor and Spain through a sculpture by Salvador Dali.
Abdulnasser Gharem’s, The Capitol Dome, is being offered as part of The Future is Unwritten Healing Arts initiative to support a global COVID-19 response through the arts. As part of the World Health Organization’s solidarity series of events, Christie’s Healing Arts Auctions have been running over the course of these past two years, with works offered in a number of sales across a wide range of categories. The initiative was launched in 2020 by CULTURUNNERS in partnership with the World Council of Peoples for the United Nations and WHO Foundation and the Blessed Foundation, as part of the United Nations’ 75th anniversary initiative, UN75.
Both a practicing artist and a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Saudi Army, Abdulnasser Gharem is one of the forefront contemporary artists in the Arab World, known for his intellectual courage and innovative use of materials. Gharem’s paintings, performances and installations have transformed not only the Middle Eastern, but also Western art scene by challenging people to question our global socio-political relationships and cultural perspectives.
As one of the founders of the contemporary Saudi Arabian art platform Edge of Arabia, Gharem first presented this monumental work of 400 x 400 x 500cm, as the sculptural centrepiece of the group’s London exhibition #COMETOGETHER in 2012. The piece offers a continuing dialogue with Gharem’s earlier Message/Messenger, sold with Christie’s in 2011 for a world auction record price.
The Capitol Dome constitutes a 13-foot scaled-down replica of the Capitol Dome in Washington, D.C., propped up by a miniature version of Thomas Crawford’s nineteenth-century statue of the armed goddess Freedom. The under-side of Gharem’s dome is decorated with intricate Islamic decorative motifs, hand-crafted in Morocco, which resemble a mosque interior. It offers an arranged marriage of Western Neo-Classical design and Islamic geometry. Within this juxtaposition, Gharem merely underlines the tension as a way to spark fresh conversation about democracy across West and East.
Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai). Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace. Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.
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