Canadian Fine Art
November 13 — 18, 2021
Auction begins to close at 7:00 pm ET
Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, NB
Colville was an artist who took inspiration from his immediate surroundings, using his own home and family as the basis for many of his compositions. Here, he used himself and his wife Rhoda as models in this enigmatic serigraph, though the result is less self-portrait than an attempt to present more universal protagonists.
The mirror in Rhoda’s hand is based on an eighteenth dynasty Egyptian bronze artifact held in the permanent collection of Berlin’s National Gallery. Colville had sketched the item in 1971, during his residency as a Visiting Artist under the Berliner Künstlerprogramm.
The artist nods to his artistic life by including a corner of his 1956 work “Cat on Fence” in the upper-left of the composition. Art historian Ray Cronin writes that animals often serve as a foil to humans in Colville’s work, who revisited ideas about the dichotomy between human and animal worlds throughout his career. Biographer Tom Smart adds that for Colville, “the cat is the emblem of unknowing.”
Ray Cronin, Alex Colville, Black Cat, 1996, Art Canada Institute, 2017.
Tom Smart, Alex Colville: Return" (Douglas & McIntyre: Vancouver , 2003), 80.
Very good condition.
Please contact the specialist for further condition information.
All lots from this auction will be made available for pre-auction, in-person inspection and preview. This condition report has been prepared by Waddington’s as a courtesy and has been provided for guidance only. Each 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, depending on your screen settings. Although Waddington’s takes great care in executing condition reports, Waddington’s specialists are not professional conservators or restorers and the report set forth is only a statement of opinion. For that reason this report is provided as a courtesy and is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice. 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. The Buyer agrees that Waddington’s will not be held responsible for any errors or omissions contained within the report. 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.