Canadian Fine Art
May 29 — June 03, 2021
Auction begins to close at 8 pm ET
Special Interest Videos
Private Collection, Ontario
The pointillism begun by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac was brought to its fullest expression by Ulysse Comtois. Fascinated by the energy that could be created by chromatic juxtapositions, by the 1970s Comtois began exploding the tight precision of his predecessors, releasing any sense of figuration or narrative in favour of pure buzzing sensation.
Expressing an interest in revisiting Mondrian's legacy, Comtois returned to two-dimensional painting after a decade spent working with welded metal and wood. Mondrian is oft remembered for his formal vocabulary of primary colours and values as well as his self-confinement to strict, gridlike compositions, but some of his earliest landscape work included forays into pointillism. Comtois’s vast colourfields echo both Mondrian’s early technique and his signature organizing grids, cleverly fusing the artist’s young career with his mature style.
Ever original, Comtois’s softened Mondrian’s influences within his own work, as if viewing them through a kaleidoscopic lens. He cannily tethered his work to the material world by way of his titles, lest the viewer float away on a sea of abstraction. The evocative Couleurs d’Été (lot 28) and Au Jardin en Automne (lot 27) bring to mind memories of seasonal light and foliage, and thus, in their expressionistic way, cleave towards the rich Canadian landscape tradition, and swing back around to Mondrian’s early work.
The work is in very good condition with a minor condition issue. Please contact us for a detailed condition report.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and mandated government restrictions, Waddington’s regrets that we are unable to make lots from this auction available for pre-auction, in-person inspection. This condition report has been prepared by Waddington’s as a courtesy and has been provided for guidance only. The Lot is offered in the condition it is in at the time of sale. Any reference to condition in the report for the Lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the Lot form part of the condition report for the Lot provided by Waddington’s. Please note, certain images of the Lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the Lot and may represent colours and shades which are different to the Lot’s actual colour and shades. Waddington’s specialists are not professional conservators or restorers and the report set forth is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Waddington’s. Prospective buyers should bear in mind that this report will not disclose any imperfections which may only be revealed during the course of subsequent restoration. Buyers are reminded that Waddington’s warranties with respect to any property are limited as set forth in the Conditions of Sale and do not extend to condition.