“The market behaves strongly for high-level things, things unique, rare, that haven’t been seen before,” was how another Winnipeg dealer, Shaun Mayberry, was assessing the situation post-auction. “But things that are B or C-level, even by quality artists, aren’t finding buyers.”
- An impressive multi-coloured abstract done by Quebec master Paul-Émile Borduas during his peak period (1947-57) fetched almost $664,000 including premium, smashing his previous auction record, $520,000, set in 2007.
- Jack Bush, Glide, the 1971 acrylic on canvas sold for $267,000, eclipsing the previous pace-setter of $234,000 established only last year.
- Artists from the 1950s onwards – Kazuo Nakamura, William Kurelek, William Ronald, Yves Gaucher and Gen X “creator” Douglas Coupland (whose Warhol-inflected four-panel silk-screened portrait of Micorsoft founder Bill Gates sold above estimate for $36,000) – who gave the sale its pep.
- An impressive David Milne scene, painted in Massachusetts in 1920, went for $244,000 against an estimate of $150,000-$250,000
- Richard Clow’s classic Sledges and Figures Skating on the Frozen Lake in Front of Montmorency Falls, done some time between 1834 and 1853, sparked sufficiently heated bidding to sell for almost $440,000, including premium, well above its high-end estimate of $200,000. Its purchaser was Winnipeg art dealer David Loch.
- a Rocky Mountain sketch from the 1920s by Group founder Lawren Harris. Estimated at $400,000-$600,000, it would have made that and likely much more a few years ago, but Thursday it failed to elicit any bids beyond $375,000 and remained unsold.
Canadian Art Market Turning Away from Group of Seven? (Globe and Mail)