Toronto’s Globe and Mail was impressed with the results of Sotheby’s auction where $5m in art was sold:
Perhaps the biggest failure of the evening was Ontario Village, a large, summery canvas by Mr. MacDonald’s Group of Seven colleague, Arthur Lismer. Painted in 1923, the oil went into Tuesday’s sale with the highest pre-sale estimate ($400,000-$600,000) of any of Sotheby’s lots. Bidding, however, proved anemic and when it stalled at $340,000, the work was declared unsold. Another disappointment was Ocres, Jaune et Vert, a vibrant horizontal stripe canvas by the late Quebec master abstractionist Yves Gaucher. It sold – but the successful bid of $32,500 (excluding premium) was below the work’s pre-sale estimate of $35,000.
More successful was Absurdo, a classic “target” acrylic by one of Mr. Gaucher’s Quebec contemporaries, Claude Tousignant. Painted in 1964, it sold for $51,000, including premium – a new auction record for the 78-year-old artist. Another record-breaker was Guido Molinari whose vertical-striped canvas, Mutations Athematique Vert-Ocre (1965), earned $70,000, including premium, beating the late artist’s previous auction record, $54,000, established two years ago.
Sotheby’s had six David Milne works for sale, with the strongest performer being Blue Reader from 1914, a highly stylized portrait of Milne’s first wife, that earned an impressive $163,500.
The CBC had these results:
J.E.H. MacDonald’s painting Wind Clouds, a rare work exhibited in the first ever Group of Seven exhibition in 1920, sparked bids from seven interested parties. It ultimately sold for $589,000 (including auction house premium).Works by MacDonald’s peers also fared well at the sale, which took place before a standing room only crowd at the Royal Ontario Museum. Highlights included:* A Mountain Road through Lynn Valley, BC by Frederick Horsman Varley, which sold for $232,500.* Forest Interior by Emily Carr, which fetched $261,250.* Algonquin Birches by Lawren Harris, which sold for $111,750.* October, Maple Lake by A.J. Casson, which sold for $42,000.* The Blue Reader by David Milne, which fetched $163,500.* Village en Hivers by Marc-Aurèle Fortin, featured on the cover of the Sotheby’s Canada fall catalogue, which fetched $175,000.