On 12 March, Ayyam Gallery held its nineteenth Young Collectors Auction, the second to be held in Jeddah to date, where twenty-eight of the forty offered lots were sold, yielding 820,000 SAR in total sales with premiums. Confirming the growing dynamism of the Saudi art scene, the event attracted nascent and seasoned buyers from across Saudi Arabia, who vied for painting, sculpture, photography, and limited edition prints, from emerging and established Arab and Iranian artists.
As part of Ayyam Gallery’s commitment to supporting the continued success and expansion of the Kingdom’s arts infrastructure, the auction spotlighted such local talent as internationally recognized conceptual artist Ahmed Matar and rising street artist Shaweesh, whose spray-painted portrait of female athlete Sara Attar sold for 42,000 SAR. Attendees expressed particular enthusiasm for this roster of Saudi artists, as highlights of the sale included an ethereal abstraction by Yousef Jaha and a neo-expressionist take on the spontaneity of Arabic graffiti by Abdiaziz Bube Ashir, each of which sold for 42,000 SAR.
Syrian artists also featured prominently with Tammam Azzam’s increasingly iconic Freedom Graffiti (Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss) and Elias Izzoli’s emphatic untitled portrait of a child garnering 52,000 and 60,000 SAR respectively.
Topping this second edition of the Young Collectors Auction in Jeddah, however, was Abdullah Hammas’ whimsical grid charting the experiential sights of life in Saudi Arabia, which brought 72,000 SAR, and was among a number of lots that spoke to the formal experimentation that has distinguished the Saudi art scene in recent decades.