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UNHCR TO BENEFIT FROM SALE OF AN ERMES PAINTING

UNHCR TO BENEFIT FROM SALE OF AN ERMES PAINTING

17th Feb 2014 – By Rebecca Proctor (Haute Time)

During its next sale of Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art, held at Jumeirah Emirates Towers on 19 March, Christie’s Dubai will sell the Muallaqat Al-Sabaa by internationally acclaimed artist Ali Omar Ermes of which a proportion of the proceeds will benefit the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) in its ongoing efforts for the refugees in Syria.

Ermes generously gifted the piece to the Middle Eastern publication Philanthropy Age to help it support charitable causes within the region. Estimated at $120,000-180,000, the title decided to share a portion of the proceeds with UNHCR.

Figured in an abstract arrangement of colors and brushstrokes, the work depicts the Sixth Ode from the seven Arabic poems known as the Muallaqat Al-Sabaa, also the title of Ermes’ piece.

This renowned work includes around seven ancient poems considered to be the finest pieces of early Arabic poetry, which describe various moral codes as well as aspects of cultural, social and political life that can be passed across generations. They wonderfully illustrate, as does Ermes’ work, the importance of the conscience of a nation.

The Christie’s Sale will be held on 20 March in Jumeirah Emirates Towers.




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TATE BRITAIN. EAST-WEST: OBJECTS BETWEEN CULTURES
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East-West: Objects Between Cultures
Free entry
Tate Britain: Exhibition
1 September 2006 – 18 February 2007

Ali Omar Ermes, Shadda 1980

Watercolour and gold on paper
635 x 615 mm
Lent by the British Museum

The verse inscription relates to social equality. Like the Tachiste works displayed in this room, ‘Shadda‘ depicts a gesture imbued with meaning. Although some of these Tachiste works are reminiscent of calligraphy, Arabic script is given spiritual significance in Ermes’ work, as a written expression of Qur’anic revelation.

What is the relationship between image and word in this example of calligraphy?

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