Doug Maclean’s take on our Canadian & Inuit Art Auctions for Galleries West Magazine

By: Doug MacLean for Galleries West Magazine

Mount Albert

results from Waddington’s Canadian art Auctions

“After three previews, the fresh-to-market works found by senior Canadian art specialist Linda Rodeck began to fall into place in my mind. Her strategy is to go beyond gallery and dealer consignments to pursue works from private collections. Joachim Gautier is a perfect example. Although not a household name, he often painted with his good friend A.J. Casson, and in the case of Mount Albert, circa 1940, which sold for $6,000, surpasses him in quality.

The sale had good wings early. One of my favorite pieces, Yves Gaucher’s Etude pour progression bi-ascendante, gained attention and sold well beyond my expectations at $11,400.

Doris McCarthy was represented by some good paintings and finally gained ground in value. Her Starred Ice from Twin Otter sold for $20,000, followed soon after by a gem done in 1945, Moonlight on Percé Rock, which sold at $8,750. McCarthy’s independence shows – it’s not the tourist view painted by so many, but a long-distance nocturne in grey and black. One more nod to McCarthy: Storm Clouds of Keel, 1999, a large, beautifully executed painting based on her travels in Ireland, sold for $36,000.

There were solid results throughout the sale for Group of Seven members Casson, A.Y. Jackson, Edwin Holgate and J.E.H. MacDonald. The latter’s tiny jewel, Georgian Bay, sold for $45,600. Randolph Hewton, the founder of the Beaver Hall Group, was represented by two absolute gems, including Saint-Joseph de Lévis, which sold at $21,600.

Although the pace slowed in the sale’s latter half, few lots were passed, and overall values were within reach for works one rarely sees.

Waddington’s: Inuit Art, Toronto, Nov. 21

I haven’t commented on Indigenous sales in the past, but they were noteworthy this fall.

If one has fine early Indigenous works, the market is strong. Waddington’s Inuit preview was on view during the Canadian Fine Art exhibit, where it stood the test of quality and comparison.

Some successful results included Johnny Inukpuk’s Woman Cleaning a Fish, circa 1953, at $21,600, and Osuitok Ipeelee’s, Caribou on Hind Legs, circa 1985, at $28,800. This latter was a stunning piece with imaginative beauty. Also worth noting was an incredible stonecut print by Josephine Pootoogook, Joyfully I See Ten Caribou, 1959, which sold for $12,000.”

Galleries West Magazine

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