Omar El-Nagdi painting Sarajevo could beat $600,000


A painting by Omar El-Nagdi titled Sarajevo will star in Christie's sale of contemporary art in Dubai on March 16. 

The work dates to 1992, when the conflict in the Balkans was at its height, and is expected to sell for around $400,000-600,000. 

Omar Sarajevo
Sarajevo is a modern take on Picasso's Guernica

El-Nagdi is an Egyptian artist. He was born in 1931 and is associated with the symbolist movement. He's considered one of the nation's most important living painters. 

The auction house comments: "El-Nagdi's Sarajevo is without doubt one of the most poignant depiction of the horrors of war ever painted since 1937, when Pablo Picasso realized his iconic piece Guernica…

"In terms of palette, El-Nagdi immerses the entire blood-bath scene in a beautiful and almost surreal turquoise-blue light on a warm ochre background, confirming once again the Egyptian painter's prodigious mastery of color.

"Sarajevo joins the series of iconic worldwide-known museum masterpieces that depict the horrors of war and that visually scream out the great artists' reactions to historical events contemporary to their time."

The sale features a wealth of work from contemporary middle eastern artists, including the Lebanese painter Shafic Abboud. 

A set of 130 small paintings from his Cafe Engloutis series are up for auction with a valuation of $300,000-400,000. 

The work's title (Engloutis is French for Engulfed) references the loss of the vibrant cafe culture of the region to decades of war and religious oppression. 

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