Heffel's 2012 Spring Auction Will Present Rare and Extraordinary Canadian Masterpieces from Coast to Coast
Apr 19, 2012, 05:59 ET
Led by seminal works by Emily Carr, Lawren Harris and Jean Paul Lemieux, this auction, expected to achieve between $9 and $12 million, also features important works from all the original members of the Group of Seven up to Contemporary Art
- WEST COAST: Emily Carr, Canada's most famous female artist, is represented with eight works including a highly-coveted mature period oil on canvas and a prized watercolour.
- QUEBEC: Jean Paul Lemieux returns to auction with La plage américaine after Heffel set the global record for contemporary Canadian art sold at auction with this artist. Many of Quebec's most famous Automatist artists will also be on view.
- ONTARIO: The Group of Seven, which was founded in Ontario, is represented with 36 works, including the triumphant return of Lawren Harris's oil Lake Superior to Canada from the UK.
- EAST COAST: Strong presence by Christopher Pratt, Alex Colville, Maurice Cullen and Goodridge Roberts.
- PREVIEWS TO BE HELD IN MONTREAL, TORONTO AND VANCOUVER, in advance of the live auction in Vancouver on May 17, will display works that have not been seen by the public for generations.
VANCOUVER, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Heffel Fine Art Auction House is thrilled to announce a spectacular Spring collection of Canadian art to be auctioned on May 17 in Vancouver, presenting works from across our great nation, many of which have not been displayed publicly in decades. With over 30 auctions to date, Heffel is the undisputed leader of Canadian art at auction, having sold over a quarter of a billion dollars in art. This Spring, the 185 lots are expected to achieve between $9 and $12 million, according to conservative estimates. If projections hold, the Heffel Spring 2012 auction will place within the top 10 grossing auctions of Canadian art of all time, all ten of which were conducted by Heffel. The most recent Fall 2011 auction surpassed all expectations, totaling $16.8 million in sales.
Included among the blockbuster items are works by artists originating from coast to coast in Canada. "We are showcasing the range of visual artists who have defined this country's art throughout history," explains David K.J. Heffel, President of Heffel Fine Art Auction House.
In Fall 2011, Heffel sold Jean Paul Lemieux's Nineteen Ten Remembered, for $2.34 million, shattering the worldwide record for post-war and contemporary Canadian art sold at auction.
WEST COAST ART AT THE FOREFRONT
It is fitting that this season's auction takes place in Vancouver given the number of noteworthy West Coast-based artists. Leading the way is Emily Carr, who, along with Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keefe, is widely considered to be one of North America's most influential female artists. Among the eight works on offer is Eagle Totem (Estimate: $600,000 ~ $800,000 CAD), considered one of the rarest treasures in Canadian art given that it is a mature period oil on canvas with First Nations subject matter. Heffel is also presenting War Canoes, Alert Bay (Estimate: $300,000 ~ $500,000 CAD), a watercolour that is the basis for her spectacular oil of the same name, currently in the Audain collection. Earlier this year, Heffel sold a similar Carr watercolour, War Canoe, Alert Bay, for $1.228 million, making it the most valuable Canadian watercolour ever sold at auction. Heffel is no stranger to breaking Emily Carr records, having sold eight of the top-ten priced works by this artist.
"The Emily Carr works that will be showcased in our Spring auction are a rare collection as a whole," said Robert Heffel, Vice-President of Heffel Fine Auction House. "This is a great opportunity for collectors to acquire some of Carr's most unique works."
Other West Coast artists of note include E.J. Hughes, whose masterwork Englewood (Estimate: $250,000 ~ $350,000 CAD) includes a personalized letter from the artist dated 1989 explaining how he came to paint the work (he was nominated by Lawren Harris for an Emily Carr Scholarship). He wrote "I hope that as the years go by, you will get much more pleasure from your painting, and that you will notice different little things about it every time you see it." Also featured are Receding Tide, Departure Bay ($175,000 ~ $225,000 CAD) a superb Hughes coastal scene, and The Nanaimo Bastion ($200,000 ~ $300,000 CAD) based on one of the oldest buildings in British Columbia, built by the Hudson's Bay Company.
Bertram Charles (B.C.) Binning, the pioneer West Coast modernist, was not only an internationally recognized painter but also head of the Fine Arts Department at the University of British Columbia and an architectural designer. Bold works, including Two Ships Standing Off (Estimate: $20,000 ~ $30,000 CAD) and Vacant and Occupied Squares (Estimate: $20,000 ~ $30,000 CAD), will be up for auction.
At 92, Gordon Smith is considered British Columbia's greatest living artist, and has nine exceptional paintings in the sale. From his 1960 masterwork White Painting #2 up to the circa 1990 Houlgate Creek, the works in the auction span his artistic career showing his balance between pure abstraction and the depiction of the British Columbia landscape through his physical and emotional act of painting.
LEMIEUX AND THE QUEBEC AUTOMATISTS DOMINATE
Jean Paul Lemieux will also be represented with an impressive seven works at the auction this Spring. In the Fall, Heffel made news around the globe by auctioning Nineteen Ten Remembered, one of the most iconic images in Canadian art, for a record shattering CAD $2.34 million, setting national and worldwide records for post-war and contemporary Canadian art sold at auction. For the Spring, Heffel presents La plage américaine, another quintessential Lemieux painting featuring his iconic characters in mysterious interactions. Other works on auction include Le mois de juin, (Estimate: $350,000 ~ $450,000 CAD) a rich rural portrait as well as Monseigneur (Estimate: $125,000 ~ $175,000 CAD), one of his iconic religious portraits. Lemieux, now dubbed "Canada's Latest Two-Million-Dollar Man", continues to command record-breaking prices around the globe. Heffel is also presenting captivating works at prices accessible to first-time collectors.
Paul-Émile Borduas, another Quebec legend, has four works on offer, including Jeunesse (Estimate: $150,000 ~ $200,000 CAD) which was heralded by a Montreal critic in 1957 for its masterful manipulation of white paint. Heffel is also offering one of Borduas's copies of Refus global, (Estimate: $8,000 ~ $10,000 CAD) the 1948 manifesto by the Montreal-based Automatist artists that many believe helped shape modern Quebec culture (and also resulted in Borduas being fired from his teaching position). Other Automatist artists on offer at this auction include a spectacularly large painting by Marcelle Ferron, several works by Jean-Paul Riopelle, and two extremely unique works by Jean-Paul Armand Mousseau.
MUSEUM QUALITY WORKS BY THE GROUP OF SEVEN
Lawren Harris continues to dominate at auction, and Heffel is pleased to offer ten exceptional works by the artist this Spring. Heffel is most excited about the triumphant return to Canada of Harris' Lake Superior (Estimate: $400,000 ~ $600,000 CAD), a sketch for a canvas in the collection of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. After visiting the blockbuster UK exhibit Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven at London's Dulwich Picture Gallery, the British consignors realized the true significance of this valuable work, which had humbly hung in their home for many years. Another Harris of note is Building the Ice House, Hamilton, (Estimate $350,000 - $500,000 CAD) a reminder that Harris not only excelled at painting the wilderness but also captured the urban landscape of Canada's cities. Along with Harris, a total of 36 works by the original members of the Group of Seven are on auction including Franklin Carmichael (3 works), Frank Johnston 3 works, Arthur Lismer (3 works), J.E.H. MacDonald 3 works and Frederick Varley (4 works). Among A.Y. Jackson's ten works is Morning, Great Bear Lake (Estimate: $300,000 ~ $350,000 CAD), considered to be among his finest. Early Autumn, Montreal River, Algoma (Estimate: $80,000 ~ $100,000 CAD) one of J.E.H. Macdonald's three works on auction, is the Heffel catalogue cover image.
Other Ontario artists of note include Helen Galloway McNicoll, a Canadian Impressionist painter who died prematurely and has been the focus of multiple recent exhibits. Known for her paintings of children, this is the first time that Easter Lilies (Estimate: $175,000 ~ $225,000 CAD), one of the best examples of this subject, has ever been offered on the market.
CHRISTOPHER PRATT LEADS STRONG EAST COAST REPRESENTATION
Newfoundland's Christopher Pratt is one of Canada's most recognized and acclaimed living artists. With Landing (Estimate: $60,000 ~ $80,000 CAD), Heffel presents one of his most important works that focuses on his passion for architecture. Heffel is also presenting some very interesting preliminary sketches by renowned East Coast master Alex Colville for some of his important works including Study for Woman, Dog & Canoe and Study for Laser. Heffel currently holds the title for the highest value ever achieved in Canada at an auction for a work by a living Canadian painter for an Alex Colville painting entitled Man on Verandah, sold in November 2010 for $1.287 million.
TWO SEPARATE SESSIONS THAT SPAN THE HISTORY OF CANADIAN ART
The Heffel Spring auction is presented in two separate sessions: Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art at 4:00 pm, followed by the Fine Canadian Art session at 7:00 pm. Heffel was the first auction house in Canada to split historical and contemporary Canadian art into separate sales and is the only one that produces separate catalogues for each session.
Heffel's Spring 2012 Auction Schedule
To give interested buyers from across Canada a chance to view these extraordinary works, many on display for the first time in generations, the collection is being previewed in three cities:
- Montreal Preview- April 26 to April 28 at Galerie Heffel Montreal, 1840 Sherbrooke Street West
- Toronto Preview - May 3 to May 5 at Heffel Gallery Toronto, 13 Hazelton Avenue
- Vancouver Preview - May 12 to May 16 at Heffel Gallery Vancouver, 2247 Granville Street
- Live Auction (Vancouver) - Thursday, May 17, 2012, Vancouver Convention Centre, West Burrard Entrance, Room 211, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver
- 4:00 PM PST, Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art
- 7:00 PM PST, Fine Canadian Art
For more details on the previews and live auction, and access to the online catalogues, visit www.heffel.com.
About Heffel Fine Art Auction House
Heffel has sold more Canadian art than any other auctioneer worldwide, with over $300 million in art auction sales since 1995, and has conducted the most valuable live auctions of Canadian art. Heffel is led by the most experienced team of fine art specialists in Canada. With offices and representatives in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary, Heffel provides superior client services to both sellers and buyers nationwide. In addition to full-colour printed catalogues, Heffel publishes its entire live auction online at www.heffel.com, from initial promotion and illustrated lot listings, to the auction's live multi-camera webcast and final sale results.
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Image with caption: "After setting the record last fall for post-war and contemporary Canadian art sold at auction with Jean Paul Lemieux's Nineteen Ten Remembered, Heffel Fine Art Auction House presents yet another quintessential Lemieux painting at the Spring auction, La plage américaine. (CNW Group/Heffel Fine Art Auction House)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120419_C7002_PHOTO_EN_12507.jpg
Image with caption: "Heffel Fine Art Auction House will showcase a rare collection of Emily Carr's works at the Spring auction on May 17, 2012 in Vancouver, B.C. Among the eight works by Emily Carr on offer is the Eagle Totem, considered to be one of the rarest treasures in Canadian art. (CNW Group/Heffel Fine Art Auction House)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120419_C7002_PHOTO_EN_12509.jpg
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