Art bargains in the Basement

Farbod Morshedzadeh is one of the artists exhibiting at Basement this month. (SUPPLIED)

A new art gallery taking shape in Dubai's Al Quoz district aims to raise the regional and international profile of emerging Iranian artists in its opening exhibition, which is now open to the public.

Basement Gallery, created by a consortium of architects, art collectors and entrepreneurs, will showcase the works of five Iranian artists, most of whom have not exhibited their works previously outside their homecountry.

"One of the concepts behind the gallery is to create a platform for bringing these artists and their works out of the 'basements' where art is sometimes stored and forgotten into a growing regional and global marketplace," said Baharak Raoufi, one of the founders of the gallery.

"Another key objective is to underscore the fundamental value of art, the role of art in daily life, and the concept of the UAE and wider region as one large and open 'studio' environment in which art can be found almost everywhere," she added.

The launch comes at a time when international auction houses are achieving record prices for contemporary Iranian artworks, and galleries from Europe and Asia are increasingly exhibiting works by Iranian artists.

The gallery's opening show is themed around the concept of "contemporary living", with large canvases incorporating abstract themes, vibrant colour and elements of Iranian calligraphy.

This initial event runs until July 7, and Basement plans to contrast new with old in its sophomore show, by an Iranian master, to open mid-July.

"The growth of the Middle East's art market and the specific demand for works by Iranian artists have prompted us to develop the gallery," said Narges Hamzianpour, co-founder. "We are focused on offering a mix of artists and pieces previously unseen in Dubai as well as highlighting works by more established names in the Middle East's arts community."

Basement's debut features…

- Shahpari Behzadi: one-time teacher who previously sold art work in Hungary and Slovakia

- Hossein Edalatkhah: painter with more than 20 previous exhibitions in Iran to his name 

- Aisling Haghshenas: Irish-Iranian contemporary painter, exhibiting for the first time in the UAE

- Rayka Milanian: artist not exhibited in Dubai since 2001, with striking large-scale canvases

- Farbod Morshedzadeh: PhD holder influenced by his years spent in India