Canadian Fine Art

November 1318, 2021
Auction begins to close at 7:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 51

Lot 51


Lot 51 Details


mixed media on paper
22.5 ins x 34.5 ins; 57.2 cms x 87.6 cms

Estimate $15,000-$20,000

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

Lot Report

Additional Images

Estate of the Artist;
Private Collection, British Columbia


Oscar Cahén’s work was largely unseen for 40 years following his untimely death at the age of 40 in 1956; however, he is now considered an important illustrator and painter. Fleeing Nazi Germany, Cahén arrived in Quebec as a refugee in 1941. His talent for drawing was quickly recognized and soon appeared in Maclean’s magazine. By 1949, Cahén had moved to Toronto, where his success as a commercial artist gave him the freedom to experiment with abstraction in his personal work. With artists Harold Town and Jack Bush, Cahén formed the Painters Eleven, a group dedicated to forwarding abstract art in Canada. This untitled work dates from the year of Cahén’s first solo exhibition (at Hart House) and features the oval forms and vibrant colour that characterize his paintings. Assuming control of the estate in the 1990s, Cahén’s son made work available for exhibition, allowing scholars and the public to re-discover this exceptionally creative artist.

Bill Clarke is a Toronto-based collector of contemporary art (and many other things) and a writer who has written for ArtReview, ARTnews, Modern Painters, Canadian Art and Border Crossings. Associate director of Angell Gallery from 2017 to 2019, Clarke has returned to his previous career in healthcare policy and communications.


Good/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.

LOT 51

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.