Elisa Sednaoui and Alia Al-Senussi Bring Arab Art to Sotheby’s

All in the name of charity

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You might have already heard of model Elisa Sednaoui Dellal and art patron Alia Al-Senussi separately, but the powerhouses are now teaming up to spruce up Sotheby’s annual Contemporary Curated auction in London. 

The duo are Sotheby’s newest guest curators, bringing 17 works to the auction that include some of the region’s most renowned artists, and the proceeds from ten pieces will go on to benefit children’s education.

The sales from the auction will benefit the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation. If you’re not already familiar, Sednaoui established the foundation in 2013, quickly launching Funtasia, an initiative that helps implement non-traditional education programs in Egypt. 

Monir Farmanfarmaian, Untitled, 1975-76Georg Baselitz, Songs in the suitcase (lieder im koffer), 2015Sednaoui’s partnership with Al-Senussi only makes sense. “There is an aspect of community to our work together, for ESF and for this collaboration, and I hope that people enjoy the pieces that I have fallen in love with during this process,” said Al-Senussi. The academic and patron has been in the art game for some time now. Alongside sitting on the board of the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation, she sits as chair of the Tate Young Patrons, on the board of patrons of Art Dubai, and that of 1-54 African Art Fair, and the Middle East Circle of the Guggenheim. 

For the auction, Sednaoui and Al-Senussi included a piece by Egyptian artist Youssef Nabil, another by Iranian artist Monir Farmanfarmaian, Basim Magdy, alongside George Condo’s ‘The Butcher’s Wife.’

Basim Magdy, Royalties Come to our Festivals with Their Pet Spiders, 2007George Condo, The Butcher’s Wife, 1987“Art is an incredibly powerful tool which cultivates minds and hearts, opening up the imagination and nurturing the soul,” said Sednaoui, reflecting on the works. 

“What I am passionate about is creating safe learning spaces, where individuals have the opportunity to explore personal interests, learn fundamental life skills, widen their perspective and deepen their awareness. This openness is reflected in my selection, which was undoubtedly also influenced by my upbringing as a citizen of the world with roots in France, Italy and the Middle East,” she continued.

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