Border Crossings / Cross Canada Fundraising Auction

Auction begins to close:
February 25, 2024 at 8:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 30

Lot 30

Harold Klunder

Harold Klunder
Lot 30 Details
Harold Klunder


Oil on canvas; framed
18 x 18 in — 45.7 x 45.7 cm

Estimate $14,000-$16,000

Realised: $11,000

Lot Report


Courtesy of the artist; Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto.

The Work & Artist Bio

Harold Klunder has been breathing painterly air for so long that it is now part of his DNA. He isn’t so much a painter as he is paint. In The Mind’s Eye, 2014, his buoyant, jazzy oil on canvas, he goes one step further than Paul Klee and takes not just a line but an explosion of colour for a walk. The result is a painting that is so intense it becomes both an object and a presence in the world. His colour sense is exhilarating. Black is abundant in The Mind’s Eye but Klunder is the only painter I know who can make black radiate delight. As its title tells us, this painting is a marvellous look inside the mind’s eye, but it is the painter’s hand that brings us that insight. The Mind’s Eye is a virtuosic handful.

Harold Klunder is considered one of Canada’s most important painters. He was born in Deventer, The Netherlands in 1943 and immigrated to Canada in 1952. At 17 he left the family farm outside of Hamilton, Ontario to study art at Central Technical School in Toronto (most notably under the landscape painter Doris McCarthy). Upon graduating he immersed himself in the Toronto art world as it moved from post-war abstraction into 60s Pop Art and beyond. He had his first solo show at Sable-Castelli in 1976. In the five decades since then Klunder has forged a unique vocabulary of forms to express his commitment to the self-portrait in particular and to the evocative possibilities of paint to evoke states of being. Keenly aware of art history and of the titans of Dutch painters who have come before him, from Rembrandt’s relentless self-scrutiny through to Vermeer’s quality of light to Van Gogh’s fevered impasto and Willem de Kooning’s early series of voracious women, Klunder embeds his influences into his own paintings, often monumental in scale and years in the making. To view a Klunder painting is to become privy to the narrative — the excavation — of one painter’s lifelong engagement with this most storied of mediums, its profound history and its unmistakable immediacy, always unfolding now, standing outside of time, receptive to the present viewer’s gaze. His work is in numerous collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario; Art Gallery of Hamilton; Beaverbook Art Gallery; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; National Gallery of Canada; McMichael Canadian Art Collection; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; University of Lethbridge; Winnipeg Art Gallery; McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton; London Regional Art Gallery; and many others.

Eyes Wide Open: Episodic Voyeurism and the Art of Harold Klunder, Border Crossings Issue 143, 2017

Harold Klunder, Border Crossings Issue 113, 2010

Clint Roenisch Gallery


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 30

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.