Auctioned at Sotheby’s London, Mohammed Al-Saleem’s piece made seven times its pre-sale price.
If you’re into art, you’ll be excited to find out that an Arab artist has just broken a world record. That’s right. Saudi artist Mohammed Al-Saleem has broken a world record at Sotheby’s 20th Century Art/Middle East sale in London.
Mohammed’s 1986 artwork, inspired by the mesmerising skyline of Riyadh, fetched SAR 4.13 million (nearly £1 million) in auction. That’s seven times more than its pre-sale estimate. Now this isn’t just any record, it’s the world record for any Saudi artist at auction, reported Arab News. Mohammed’s previous record of $91,000, set at Sotheby’s in 2019, now feels like a distant memory compared to this latest triumph.
This record-breaking painting represents a turning point in Mohammed’s artistic journey. During this period, he was hailed as the leading abstract artist of his generation, and this work stands as a powerful summation of his early style. It’s a piece that also hints at the future direction of his artistic endeavours, securing his place as one of the leading figures among the pioneers of the Gulf.
Born in 1939, Mohammed is a trailblazer in the Saudi art scene. He’s one of those artists who took their passion to new heights, seeking formal art education abroad and then bringing his learnings back to Saudi Arabia. In 1967, he held one of the first exhibitions in Riyadh, making a significant mark in the municipality’s art scene. In 1979, he founded Dar Al-Funoon Al-Sa’udiyyah, a pioneering institute that provided a creative space for artistic experimentation and exhibition. This institute, inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Fahad Al-Saud, was a first of its kind in the Kingdom, emphasising Mohammed’s role in nurturing Saudi art.
Mohammed’s record-breaking achievement redefines artistic boundaries. And celebrating this posthumous triumph, the artist’s legacy in nurturing Saudi art and his boundless creative spirit continue to inspire.
GO: Visit www.sothebys.com for more information.