Lalla Essaydi - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Friday, October 17, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Europe

  • Catalogue Essay

    Lalla Essaydi is an artist whose elegantly embellished photographic portraits provide an aesthetically stunning commentary on the nature of femininity in Islamic societies. A native of Morocco, Essaydi’s works often depict regular indigenous women and the objects associated with their day-to-day life. Furthermore, her images are superimposed with intricate scrolling bands of Arabic calligraphy, an aesthetic device which has both visual impact and conceptual significance. Essaydi is quick to point out that the practices of calligraphy and applied craft were always dominated by men, and in traditional Islamic societies women were strictly forbidden from engaging in artistic activities because they were seen to conflict with the restrictive perception of females as domestic matriarchs. By choosing to flood her composition with dense rows of finely rendered calligraphy, Essaydi breaks long held cultural taboos, a gesture reinforced by her choice of Henna ink, a media which is traditionally used to paint the skin of Moroccan women as a bridal decoration. The present work captures all the crucial thematic and aesthetic elements of Essaydi’s work, in a fluently rendered, continuous, tripartite format. Bold, elegant and finely executed, Essaydi’s works are a stunning visual testament to the spirit of womanhood.


Converging Territories No. 22

Three c-prints, flush-mounted to aluminium.
Each: 61 x 51 cm. (24 x 20 1/8 in.)
Signed, titled, dated and numbered of four artist's proofs 'Essaydi, Converging Territories # 22. 2004' on a label on the reverse. This work is from an edition of fifteen and four artist's proofs.

£8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for £12,500

Contemporary Art Day Sale

18 Oct 2008 2pm