Posted by & filed under Cowley Abbott Updates.

During the 1912 Northern British Columbia travels which would result in Emily Carr’s early paintings of Indigenous subjects, the artist was unable to visit the village of Kitwancool because the Gitsxan people had little time for outsiders in their community. However, in 1928, Carr was able to visit Kitwancool. Discussing her visit to the village, Carr said: “The thought of those old Kitwancool poles pulled at me.” Carr would work for six days in the community, telling locals “I want to make some pictures of the totem poles…because they are beautiful.” 

Emily Carr “Kitwancool” circa 1928, oil on canvas, 44 x 26.75 ins, Estimated: $1,00,000-1,500,000

When Carr returned to her Victoria studios, she created several canvases from her sketches. A related canvas, Corner of Kitwancool Village, now part of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, shares compositional elements with this painting, depicting two poles in the village in some detail and shows several other poles and longhouses in the background and a distant mountain. 

This painting was first shown at Montreal’s Dominion Gallery in 1944, along with the McMichael canvas. Emily Carr historian, Ian Thom, believes that this canvas is the later of the two artworks and the more dynamic of the pair of paintings. Thom sees this painting as more challenging compositionally, with a vigorously delineated fore and middle ground, and Carr has made the sky in Kitwancool more active than in the earlier canvas. 

Carr spoke further of her time in Kitwancool, saying “The sun enriched the old poles grandly. They were carved elaborately and with great sincerity. Several times the figure of a woman that held a child was represented.” This mother figure appears, in the pole of Weer-hae, on the left of the composition. 

Ian Thom notes that what is most striking about Kitwancool is how vividly Carr has captured the beauty of these majestic totem poles, proud sentinels of the Gitxsan nation. The poles are indeed “enriched” by the sunlight which streams in from the left and Carr has conveyed their sincerity and power. Kitwancool makes its auction debut with Cowley Abbott as part of the Spring Live Auction of Artwork from an Important Private Collection on June 8th.

View the complete catalogue listing for this Emily Carr work on our website, with further exhibition and provenance information. https://cowleyabbott.ca/artwork/AW42517

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We are pleased to share Cowley Abbott’s Spring Live Auction catalogues, featuring Important Canadian & International Artwork (Session 1) and An Important Private Collection of Canadian Art (Session 2).

It is our privilege to continue to introduce Canadian artwork from the Important Private Collection to the auction market. Following the record-breaking success of the December 2022 first session from the collection, this next offering is another landmark sale which includes a selection of rare and remarkable historical artwork, most of which will be making its auction debut with Cowley Abbott this spring. 

The first session features rare and important artwork from Canadian and international artists with masterpieces debuting at auction from cherished private, public and corporate collections. 

Please join us in Toronto beginning May 8th to view these important artworks and gain insight on these masterworks ahead of the June 8th live auction at Toronto’s Globe & Mail Centre.

View the Spring Live Auction Catalogues

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WAG-Qaumajuq Announces Sale to Build Endowment Fund for Contemporary Art

Acquisition funds raised will support more diverse representation in the permanent collection

Winnipeg, Manitoba, April 20, 2023: The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq announced today details of a new endowment fund for art acquisitions to support more diverse representation in the permanent collection, beginning with contemporary Indigenous art. To help build the endowment, WAG-Qaumajuq has identified artworks from the collection where there is considerable depth and representation of the artist and field, or where the artwork is no longer aligned with the strategic direction of the Gallery’s collections policy.

To establish initial funds for the endowment, WAG-Qaumajuq has deaccessioned four colour screen prints of Queen Elizabeth II from Andy Warhol’s Reigning Queens series. These artworks being offered at auction were selected by the WAG-Qaumajuq curatorial team and the directorate, in collaboration with the Works of Art Committee and WAG-Qaumajuq Board of Directors, following an extensive evaluation of the Gallery’s permanent collection. Funds raised for the endowment will support the Gallery’s interest in continuing to build a more diverse and equitable collection, particularly in the areas of contemporary Indigenous and Canadian art. The works will be sold by Cowley Abbott Auctioneers this June through public auction. Cowley Abbott will donate their selling commission to the WAG-Qaumajuq endowment fund as part of the sale. 

WAG-Qaumajuq, one of the oldest civic art museums in Canada, holds notable collections of European and Canadian art spanning over five centuries, with strong representation in 15th and 16th-century Northern European painting, 19th and 20th-century British art, German Expressionism, and Canadian art in all media and periods. In addition to the collections of painting, sculpture, and works on paper, WAG-Qaumajuq has extensive holdings in British, Canadian, and French decorative arts. The Gallery also holds the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world, now housed in Qaumajuq, the new Inuit art centre.

Quick Facts:

  • WAG-Qaumajuq announces the deaccessioning of four artworks to raise funds for an endowment to support more diverse representation in the permanent collection, beginning with contemporary Indigenous art. 
  • These artworks were selected by the WAG-Qaumajuq curatorial team and the directorate, in collaboration with the Works of Art Committee, and supported by the WAG-Qaumajuq Board of Directors, following an extensive evaluation of the Gallery’s permanent collection.
  • The works will be sold by Cowley Abbott Auctioneers this summer through public auction.
  • WAG-Qaumajuq holds notable collections of European and Canadian art spanning over five centuries, with strong representation in 15th and 16th-century Northern European painting, 19th and 20th-century British art, German Expressionism, and Canadian art in all media and periods.
  • WAG-Qaumajuq has extensive holdings in British, Canadian, and French decorative arts. The Gallery also holds the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world, now housed in Qaumajuq, the new Inuit art centre.
  • Andy Warhol’s Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, from Reigning Queens (1985) will be featured as part of the two-session Cowley Abbott Spring Live Auction on Thursday, June 8th at Toronto’s Globe & Mail Centre, subject to a pre-sale auction estimate of $700,000-900,000 CAD.
  • Warhol’s Queen Elizabeth II prints are highly coveted and particularly rare to find offered as a complete set. This set of four silkscreens was assembled by a collector through two separate purchases before being donated to WAG-Qaumajuq.  
  • Previewing of the auction will take place in Montreal (April 27th to 29th) and Toronto (May 8th to June 8th) in the weeks leading up to the auction.
  • For more information on the sale, please visit cowleyabbott.ca. and follow this link to view the auction listing for the Warhol silkscreens.

Quotes:

“With the opening of Qaumajuq, the Gallery has been more focused than ever on building an organization that is welcoming to everyone and more representative of our entire community. The important work of reconciliation and equity throughout the organization, includes the ongoing development and strengthening of the permanent collection. The initiative to establish a new endowed fund for the acquisition of contemporary Indigenous and Canadian art will allow us to reach more people and communities through the presentation and engagement with art and artmaking.  As we make meaningful strides in creating a more equitable and representative collection, we hope to inspire and inform audiences in real and tangible ways.”

— Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, WAG-Qaumajuq

“The WAG-Qaumajuq Board of Trustees is supportive of the Gallery’s commitment to continue building and refining the permanent collection so that it reaches and connects with more people and audiences. To support the vision for the Gallery, we need to continue to allocate the necessary resources; and this endowment will ensure that the future of the WAG-Qaumajuq permanent collection will better reflect the community that it serves.”

— Lewis Rosenberg, Works of Art Committee Chair

 “We are privileged to have the opportunity to offer this rare set of Warhol Queen Elizabeth prints to benefit this important endowment fund and are delighted to donate our selling commission as further support of the initiative. We very much look forward to sharing these works with clients internationally towards the live auction in June.”

— Rob Cowley, President, Cowley Abbott

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Hanna Waswa
Public Relations Officer
Winnipeg Art Gallery
204.789.1295
[email protected]

Follow WAG-Qaumajuq on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram #atwag

Andrea McLoughlin
Director
Centric PR for Cowley Abbott
[email protected]
416.407.4321

Follow Cowley Abbott on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. Opened in March 2021, Qaumajuq connects to the WAG on all levels, celebrating the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. The new WAG-Qaumajuq cultural campus is now one of the largest art museums in Canada. To learn more visit wag.ca.

About Cowley Abbott: Since its inception in 2013, Cowley Abbott’s live and online auctions have included headline-grabbing works that have regularly smashed auction records. Cowley Abbott has rapidly grown to be a leader in today’s competitive Canadian auction industry, with two galleries in downtown Toronto and representatives across Canada. Cowley Abbott’s effective set of services marry the traditional methods of promoting artwork with technology and innovative means to connect collectors with artwork of rarity and quality.

Posted by & filed under Cowley Abbott Updates.

On the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death, we wish to commemorate the legacy of the Spanish artist, known as the founder of modern art, by presenting one of the highlights of our upcoming Spring Live Auction.

Pablo Picasso began creating ceramic works in the late 1940s. At the time, he was spending his summers in the Côte d’Azur, and in 1946 he visited Vallauris for the annual pottery exhibition. The small coastal town was known for its ceramics, and Picasso was particularly impressed by the quality of the works from the Atelier Madoura.

He was introduced to the owners, Suzanne and Georges Ramié, who welcomed him into his workshop and provided him with all the tools so he could experiment in ceramics himself. In exchange for this service, the Ramiés would produce and sell Picasso’s work. This collaboration would span twenty-five years.

The artist enjoyed working with clay, which he felt was a relaxing change from painting. Picasso began with plates and bowls, then experimented with pitchers and vases, all with creative and playful subject matter such as animals and Greek mythological figures.

In Visage de femme, dating to 1953, the artist has incised a woman’s face with wavy hair in an oval platter. The clean, fluid lines of the facial features recall Picasso’s line drawings as well as his remarkable ability to create a big impact with a very simple design. The elongated rectangle down the woman’s nose adds an element of Cubism to the otherwise curvilinear portrait.

Picasso’s experience at the Atelier Madoura was also a success on a personal level, as he met Jacqueline Roque in 1953, who would become his second wife in 1961.

Visage de femme will make its auction debut with Cowley Abbott during the Spring Live Auction of Important Canadian and International Art on June 8th at the Globe and Mail Centre.

Pablo Picasso
“Visage de femme” (A.R. 220), 1953
glazed and partially incised earthenware with coloured engobe platter
15.25 x 11.5 x 1 ins
Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000

Posted by & filed under Cowley Abbott Updates.

In recognition of International Women’s Month, Cowley Abbott is holding a special auction dedicated to prestigious female artists. Celebrating Women Artists is open for bidding from March 7th to 21st and includes artworks by Maud Lewis, Molly Lamb Bobak, Nora Collyer, Doris McCarthy and many, many more!

Maud Lewis The Carriage Ride
Rita Letendre Asor
Doris McCarthy Brixham Harbour
Nora Collyer Sixteen Island from Savage’s Mountain
Yvonne McKague Housser Before the Storm, Georgian Bay

Take a look at the catalogue here: https://cowleyabbott.ca/items and make sure to visit Cowley Abbott at 326 Dundas St. West to view these artworks in-person!

Cheers to the fabulous women of Cowley Abbott! Happy International Women’s month!

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Marcelle Ferron, Sans titre
Price Realized $1,260,000

For ten years, Cowley Abbott has been a market leader in the sale of Canadian and International art through auction and private sale. Following our record-breaking auctions of 2022, we are seeking consignments for inclusion in our upcoming sales, including the Spring Live Auction of Important Canadian Art on June 8th at Toronto’s Globe & Mail. 

We invite interested clients to contact our experienced team of specialists for a complimentary valuation. 

February Online Auctions are open!

Don’t miss out on the February Online Auctions currently open for bidding at Cowley Abbott! These three curated online auctions include Canada & Abroad, Works & Prints on Paper and Three Dimensions. Bidding concludes on Tuesday, February 28th. Visit https://cowleyabbott.ca/items to view the complete catalogue and visit our gallery at 326 Dundas St. West to view the artworks in-person!

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Cowley Abbott is thrilled to be entrusted with this selection of striking works by William Ronald, a celebrated Canadian artist. This is a very unique auction that we are holding this month. This is the first ever online auction featuring only the work of William Ronald. The rarity of the artworks in this collection is important, as well as the direct provenance from the estate of William Ronald. We hope you will take this opportunity to view this fantastic selection of artworks by the artist and learn more about Ronald’s career, technique and story.

Posted by & filed under Cowley Abbott Updates.

A.Y. Jackson Le Boulanger, Baie St. Paul 
To be offered in the Spring Live Auction of An Important Private Collection of Canadian Art

We extend our gratitude to the collectors, bidders and buyers who ensured that 2022 was our most successful year to date. As we enter our tenth year, we very much look forward to sharing further excitement with you, including the next instalment of rare artworks from a prestigious private collection of Canadian art, to be offered in our Spring Live Auction on June 8th at Toronto’s Globe & Mail Centre. 


Exciting Upcoming Auction Season

We are starting the year with a bang, presenting five exclusive online auction sessions. This includes a curated selection of artworks by William Ronald, which we are honoured to handle on behalf of The Estate of William Ronald. 

Our other exciting sessions include a variety of artworks, from historical to contemporary, from works on paper to oils, and from diminutively sized works to monumental ones. 

The following auctions all take place this month. Bidding is open from Tuesday, January 17th to Tuesday, January 31st:

To book a preview appointment at the gallery, to request a condition report, or to speak to one of our specialists, contact our office at 416-479-9703 or email [email protected] We look forward to hearing from you!




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Cowley Abbott’s Two-Session
Live Auction of Important Canadian Art Shatters 11 Auction Records

Thank you to all of the collectors, bidders and art lovers that ensured our live auction last evening was a resounding success. Marking the first of three landmark live auctions dedicated to this prestigious private collection of Canadian art, a bidding frenzy helped to break 11 artist records with most artworks in the sale exceeding – and often doubling, tripling or more – presale estimates. Cowley Abbott’s two session live auction event, which also included their Live Auction of Important Canadian Art in the afternoon, achieved a combined $19.6 million

The highlight of the evening was an Emily Carr masterwork, The Totem of the Bear and the Moon, 1912, selling for $3.12 million, coming close to challenging the current artist record of $3.39 million. Sold for the first time at auction, this rare canvas has been included in important exhibitions for more than a century.

Also offered for public sale for the first time, Tom Thomson’s Petawawa Gorges (1916) doubled the low-end estimate, selling for $2.22 million to excited audience applause. The painting was part of the artist’s family’s collection for over fifty years before being acquired by the collection owners in 1972. Other versions of this composition are in major public collections across Canada.

A second work by the iconic painter, a rare sketch for a known canvas, Evening, Pine Island, also exceeded expectations, selling for $1.68 million.

The auction set a new artist record for Group of Seven artist A.Y. Jackson with the large oil canvas Tadenac, Novemberachieving $936,000, exceeding the previous record of $760,500.

Internationally celebrated artist James Wilson Morrice’s rare canvas Neige, Canada (Snow Canada) (circa 1905) doubled the presale estimate selling for $1.26 million in its auction debut. The accompanying sketch for the painting, Study for “Neige, Canada” sold for six times the estimate at $408,000.

The oldest painting in the collection, a rare canvas by Paul Kane, Ojibwa Camp in the Spider Islands (c. 1845), sold for $1.08 million.

Frances Anne Hopkins achieved a new artist record of $552,000 with her 1867 canvas Voyageurs Encampment (Camp Scene on the Ottawa), tripling the previous record.

David Milne’s Young Cedars (1919), painted during one of the most esteemed periods of his career, sold for $792,000, more than doubling its presale estimate.

Debuting at auction, Lawren Harris study for a canvas in the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, North Shore, Lake Superior, doubled expectations, selling for $1.03 million  

Adrien Hébert, The Eaton’s Window, Montreal (1937) sold for $408,000, nine times the previous artist record of $45,600.

Jock Macdonald’s Drying Herring Roe sold for $408,000, nearly five times the previous record of $88,750.

Records were also set for L.L. FitzGerald, Ozias Leduc, Antoine Sebastien Plamondon, Henry Sandham, Charlotte Schreiber, P.C. Sheppard and Mary Wrinch.  To view the full auction results, please visit: https://cowleyabbott.ca/items/1193