Canadian Fine Art
November 13 — 18, 2021
Auction begins to close at 7:00 pm ET
WILLIAM KURELEK, R.C.A.
Private Collection, ON
In his adult years, Kurelek was able to visit Ukraine, the country of his family’s origins. Under the Communist regime, tourists were not permitted unfettered access to the country, and were instead escorted by government tour operators. On one such trip in 1970, Kurelek noted that his group was taken to admire Soviet triumphs including power stations and dams on the Dnieper. He wrote that “you know such things bore me.” Accordingly, in this painting Kurelek relegates the more industrial elements to the fringes of his composition, almost cropping them out of the frame entirely. The barge, the tugboat, and the bulldozer all become peripheral, secondary to the beauty of the river itself. Patricia Morley, one of Kurelek’s biographers, notes that Kurelek completed five paintings while on his trip to the Ukraine, “done by using every spare moment and by working at night.”
The Shevchenko Monument, from where this view was captured, houses the grave of Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861). Shevechenko was the foremost Ukrainian poet of the 19th century, as well as a painter of great renown. Considered as the father of modern Ukrainian literature and a major figure in the Ukrainian national revival, Shevchenko’s work would have undoubtedly been familiar to Kurelek. Art historian Khrystyna Berehovska notes that Kurelek would look for Shevchenko’s books in translation, and also included nods to Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, and Lesia Ukrainka in his paintings.
Patricia Morley, Kurelek: A Biography (Macmillan of Canada: Toronto, 1986), 224.
For a contemporary view from the Shevchenko Monument, please visit this interactive Google link
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.