We are thrilled to offer our major fall 2021 auction of Canadian Fine Art, online November 13 to 18.
Featuring outstanding examples by Canadian artists from coast to coast to coast, the auction provides rare opportunities to acquire exceptional works from private collections with impeccable provenance, ranging from historical to contemporary, early Modernist to abstraction, and is led by a major early canvas by Canadian art icon and Group of Seven founding member A.Y. Jackson.
Rediscovery of an Early Masterpiece
Representative of the naissance of the legendary Group of Seven, this canvas is a result of a 1914 sketching trip to Algonquin Park with Tom Thomson. Previously sold and exhibited as Autumn, Canoe Lake, Waddington’s presents this superb painting with the correct descriptive title intended by the artist—Early Spring, Algonquin Park, 1914—for the first time in nearly a century. Adding to the importance of the painting is the illustrious provenance, once in the collection of Lillias Torrance Newton, and its exhibition history, having appeared twice at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1914 and 1927.
A focus on Women Artists
Waddington’s is pleased to offer important work by female Canadian artists, many of whom did not receive the acclaim comensurate to their talents during their lifetimes, but whose work is now receiving a higher degree of appreciation and recognition. Pemberton, a canvas painted in 1933 by Emily Carr, presents the opportunity to own a rare scene painted at the foot of British Columbia’s Rocky Mountains. Founding member of the Beaver Hall Group, Anne Savage, captures a view of Highland Ave in Montreal’s Westmount neighbourhood, as seen from her own back window. Here she elevates the domestic to the sublime in her signature style, rendered in high key, sunny colouring. Both Carr and Savage are prominently featured in the McMichael Gallery’s current exhibition Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Moment.
Molly Lamb Bobak’s Bus Stop, Fredericton shows the artist’s keen sense for depicting the charm of quotidian urban life in New Brunswick. Waddington’s is also honoured to offer two bright watercolour paintings by Ethel Seath which have been consigned by descendants of the artist. On the cover of our catalogue is a painting by Doris McCarthy which was inspired by one of her trips to the Arctic. Small colourful buildings are dwarfed by mother nature’s power—large chunks of ice piling up on the shore, and the time-smoothed mountains of Grise Fiord. Look for richly coloured paintings by Joyce Wieland and Henrietta Mabel May as well.
Contemporary Canadian Art
Seize the chance to own artworks by some of the most celebrated artists working and exhibiting today. John Hartman, Edward Burtynsky, Steve Driscoll, Michael Awad and Wanda Koop are all presented in this auction, each with their own unique interpretations of the landscape genre.
Members of the Painters Eleven group feature prominently in this section, with colourful and refined paintings by Tom Hodgson, Hortense Gordon, Kazuo Nakamura, and Oscar Cahén. A very mod style painting by B.C. Binning, Device for Interpretive Contemplation, is well-named: the eye-catching composition asks the viewer to decihper the various symbols and semaphores.
Waddington’s is honoured to continue our offerings from the Patrimoine Marcil. For the first time, the Estate has released two important canvas works from the 1950s, created when Rene Marcil was living in Paris. The joyful colours and meticulously placed shapes show a master at the height of the mid-century abstract art movement. Indeed, when this was painted, Marcil exhibited in New York alongside Jackson Pollock and René Magritte. The artist is has become a highly sought after addition to important private collections, and works by Marcil are present in the Collections Nationales de France, Ministère de la Culture de France, Musée des Arts Décoratifs at the Louvre, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and in the Sweeney collection.
Paterson Ewen – Evolution of an Artist
William Paterson Ewen’s stylistic evolution is clearly illustrated in the two large paintings on offer. Both sourced from the estate of Dr. Barbara Wand—a friend and avid collector of the artist—Montreal From Priest’s Farm (1951) and Life Stream (1969) both show the artist’s keen interest in the materiality of his paintings, despite their being painted 18 years apart. The former is a highly worked and moody scene of the artist’s then hometown, where he attended university after returning from WWII. The latter is an important work, and one in a very well-known series of works with the same name—four of them residing in the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Sculpture from Canadian Masters
Look for a wonderful selection of sculpture, from the classical bronze Le Pionnier by Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Côté to the Lucite-encased steel construction by Gerald Gladstone. While Joe Fafard’s Painter and His Model (Egon Schiele)stands only twenty-eight inches tall, the life-like feel of the sculpture is larger than life. The intimacy and expressiveness of his sculptures was the artist’s hallmark, justifying why Fafard is one of Canada’s most celebrated sculptors. Fafard was a great admirer of Schiele and he pays homage to the artist while incorporating his own signature style and vigour to the subject. A trio of bronzes by Sorel Etrog each show a different period in the artist’s creative timeline, including hinges, knots and a model for a large-scale public sculpture.
Rare Multiples and Works on Paper
Walter J. Phillips was a master printmaker. Working with colour woodblock, his love for the Lake of the Woods area and the romanticized history of the York boats on Lake Winnipeg are expressed though his use of rich layers of colour. Edwin Holgate’s wood engravings show the terrain of his beloved Quebec. The signature psychological tension and precision of Alex Colville are well-represented in two serigraphs, Morning and Sleeper, both depicting the most private bedroom moments of faceless couples. Finally, there are two works by David Lloyd Blackwood which have been widely exhibited and difficult to acquire. Wesleyville: Burning of the Methodist Church shows a master artist in superb control of a difficult medium—etching and aquartint—used to depict the silhouetted figures of his hometown attempting to salvage what they could from the massive conflagration of their community’s church. The motif of fire returns in the form of the warm, smoky light of a large fire in The Burning of the S.S. Diana, a large triptych. Both of these works tell the stories of Blackwood’s Newfoundland, lore that he mines regularly in his art.
Additional Lot information
Each lot in this auction is accompanied by an essay, additional photographs and relevant condition information. Some of the essays have been written by preeminent scholars in the field, others by family members of artists no longer with us. All additional information can be found online on our website, or in our enhanced digital catalogue. We sincerely look forward to discussing the 80 lots in this carefully assembled auction with you. View the Gallery.
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