Canadian Fine Art Auction

May 29, 2017

LOT 19

Lot 19


Lot 19 Details


mixed media on paper, mounted to illustration board
signed and dated ‘56
27.5 ins x 18 ins; 69.9 cms x 46.4 cms

Estimate $18,000-$22,000

Realised: $24,000
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images

Private Collection, Toronto


David Burnett, Oscar Cahén, (catalogue), Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1983, pages 8, 18 and 20.


David Burnett writes: “From 1950, the context of (Cahén’s) art became explicitly engaged with the leading edge of contemporary art, both European and American” describing his work as “a special force.”

Oscar Cahén (1916-1956) was killed in an automobile accident on November 26, 1956, the year this work was executed. Burnett laments the fact that Cahén’s accidental and premature death came at a critical juncture during which the artist was experimenting with a variety of approaches. We are left to speculate which of the various choices he made would have been developed further and which abandoned had he lived longer. It is bittersweet to consider Composition from 1956 in terms of the role it might have played in that arc.


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 19

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.