On December 1, Toronto’s Auction house for art in Heffel shall present back-to-back auctions—Canadian, Impressionist and Modern Art and Post-war and contemporary art. With a total of around 80 working together, it is estimated that the two sales will total between $12 million and $17 million CAD. The two auctions feature a wealth of rare masterpieces from Canada’s most renowned artists, including Emily Carr, Lawren Harris, Paul Kane and Jack Hamilton Bush. The market for works by Canadian modernist art circle the Group of Seven is particularly strong this year and Heffel’s fall sales are highlighted by some key examples painted during the highly sought-after ‘Group’ period.
“Art is a source of happiness for so many, and it was truly an honor to work with collectors who share in our passion and excitement,” said David Heffel, president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House, of the upcoming sale. “The caliber of artworks in our sale is the result of many outstanding collections and significant estates, and we look forward to finding the works new homes to enjoy for generations.”
The auction will take place through Heffel’s digital salesroom, broadcast from connected satellite salesrooms in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Absent, online and telephone bids are accepted.
Check out our selection of five must-see highlights below.
Cordoba Drift (1931)
Estimated $2 million-3 million
Seven key works by pioneering Canadian artist Emily Carr are featured in the sale, spanning the spectrum of her career. The most important of these is her masterpiece from 1931 Cordoba Drift. The painting is an impressive and dramatic depiction of British Columbia’s forest and coastline. Other important examples that Carr offers are the energetic Maude Island Totem (about $700,000-900,000) and the swirling forest landscape, Music in the trees (estimated $250,000-350,000).
Assiniboine hunting buffalo (circa 1855)
Estimated $2.5 million-3.5 million
Paul Kane’s Assiniboine hunting buffalo is a famous work in Canadian art history. The painting by Irish-born Kane shows two Assiniboine people hunting buffalo. The dramatic work has been featured extensively in publications about the artist.
From Sentinel Pass above Moraine Lake, Rocky Mts.
Works by Lawren Harris feature prominently in the auction, including six stunning examples by the artist Group of Seven. These range from his early illustrations of the Ward neighborhood of Toronto to his sought-after scenes of Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains and his later career abstractions. The upper lot of the group is the richly reproduced of Harris From Sentinel Pass above Moraine Lake, Rocky Mts, That comes directly from the artist’s family at auction.
Canadian artist Thomas John Thomson made some 400 oil sketches on wood panel and about 50 works on canvas in his intense but far too short career. The self-taught artist drowned at age 39, shortly before founding the groundbreaking Group of Seven. His depictions of Ontario’s natural beauty are characterized by their vibrant colors, sweeping brushstrokes and tacky paint. Embodying the best of his talents, Spring (1916) is a rare and exciting opportunity to own a small piece of Canadian art history.
Jack Hamilton Bush
Wave #1 (1966)
Jack Hamilton Bush was a Canadian abstract painter closely associated with the Color Field movement. He rose to prominence in Canada in the 1960s as a member of the Painters Eleven group. Wave #1 is a cheerful and brightly colored painting from the 1960s that reflects Bush at his artistic peak.
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