Last week, Canadian auction house Heffel staged its live-streamed modern and contemporary art auction, which generated a total of CAD 15 million ($11.7 million). Major examples by Jean Paul Riopelle, James Wilson Morrice and Alex Colville anchored the sale.
Seven works by Jean Paul Riopelle outperformed. His 1953 Sans titre sold for CAD 1.4 ($1.1 million) against an estimate of CAD 1.2-1.8 million. La ligne d’eau, a largescale canvas from the artist’s Iceberg series, sold for CAD 1.3 million ($1 million) reaching over its high estimate of CAD 1.2 million. La plage, a rare work made circa 1898 – 1899 by Impressionist James Wilson Morrice surpassed the million dollar mark and sold for CAD 1.1 million ($859,012), making double the high estimate of CAD 500,000.
Canadian artist Alex Colville’s Woman with Revolver went for CAD 841,250 ($656,948) meeting the high estimate of CAD 800,000. Colville’s market got a recent boost when Heffel sold his 1976 canvas “Dog and Bridge” for CAD 2.4 million ($1.8 million), doubling its estimated value.
Meanwhile, six works spanning E.J. Hughes’ career found new buyers. Two of Hughes’s work for the 1950s depicting the port city of Nanaimo saw high results. Steamer Arriving at Nanaimo sold for $841,250, above the high estimate of CAD 700,000 and Three Tugboats, Nanaimo Harbour sold for $601,250, three times the low estimate of CAD 200,000.
Examples by artists in the Group of Seven, a group of Canadian landscape painters active in the 1920s-30s saw active bidding. Lawren Harris’s Sand Lake, Algoma (Algoma Sketch CXVI) sold for $631,250 ($492,898), making three times the low estimate of CAD 200,000. A.Y. Jackson’s important Ontario Mining Town, Cobalt also sold for price above its high estimate, at $349,250 ($272,736); Jackson’s Winter Morning, Laurentians at St-Tite sold for CAD 115,250 ($90,000), making more than three times its low estimate of CAD 30,000.
Abstract paintings achieved sold results, including Kenneth Noland’s Erin, which made a final price of CAD 205,250 ($160,283); Guido Molinari’s Sériel vert-violet sold for CAD 277,250 ($216,510); Jack Bush’s Stumblin’ All Around at CAD 277,250 ($216,510). Emily Carr’s landscape painted circa 1928, South Bay, Skidegate saw competitive bidding, ultimately going for a final price of CAD 811,250 ($633521), double the high estimate of CAD 400,000.