November Auction of Important Canadian Art Includes Record-Breaking Sales of Work by Bertram Brooker, Ken Lochhead and Robert Gray Murray
Toronto, ON (November 20, 2018) – A never before seen painting by renowned Ukrainian-Canadian artist William Kurelek, Threshing Outfit Being Brought Lunch (1972), sold for $82,600 (including buyer’s premium), tens of thousands of dollars of above its original purchase price of $250. The painting made its auction debut this evening at Consignor Canadian Fine Art’s live auction event at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, ON.
The painting was purchased directly from the artist in 1972, and remained within the owner’s family until its offering on Tuesday evening. Kurelek met the original owner, a Ukrainian-Canadian student who had just moved to Toronto, at an exhibition of his work at Isaacs Gallery. She indicated to the painter that she couldn’t afford to purchase any of the pieces on exhibit, so Kurelek offered to create a painting that she could afford. At her request, Kurelek painted a panoramic farm scene as a reminder of her family’s farm on the prairies; a connection that he shared with the owner, having a similar upbringing in rural Manitoba.
The auction highlights also included record-breaking sales of works by Ken Lochhead, Bertram Richard Brooker and Robert Gray Murray. Lochhead’s Colour Rotation (1964), a rare and monumental canvas by the celebrated modernist painter, sold for $54,280, doubling the previous auction record for the artist. Bertram Brooker’s, Delta Ice House, sold for $82,600, three times above its auction estimate ($25,000 – $35,000) and nearly doubling the artist’s previous auction record. Robert Gray Murray’s Burwash, a striking painted aluminum sculpture, fetched $28,320, more than doubling the previous auction record for the artist’s work.
Solid auction results were also achieved for:
- A.Y. Jackson, St. Irenée, Quebec, a classic and compelling Quebec winter village scene by the Group of Seven painter, sold for $94,000, more than double its opening bid
- A.J. Casson, Storm in the Cloche Hills, an exemplary 1951 dramatic landscape which was featured on the cover of the fall auction catalogue, sold for $118,000, almost doubling its opening bid
- Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Ste. Rose Paysage, the 1939 vivid Quebec landscape selling for $70,800
- William Perehudoff, AC-85-81, fetching $33,040, exceeding pre-sale expectation
- Bill Reid, Haida Medallion Brooch, fetching $29,500
- Jean Paul Riopelle, Sans titre, the 1965 work on paper by the Quebec abstract master fetching $23,600, exceeding the high-end of pre-sale expectation
- Maud Lewis, Red Sleigh on a Country Road, the early work by the Nova Scotia folk artist selling for $20,060, exceeding the high-end of expectation (one of three works by Lewis to perform strongly during the evening)
View full auction results by following this link.