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A stunning Emily Carr landscape; a 22-karat gold sculpture by renowned Haida artist Bill Reid and a enchanting canvas by trailblazer Daphne Odjig among highlights of Consignor’s Live Spring Auction, taking place May 29th in Toronto

April 23, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – Consignor Canadian Fine Art will be shining a celebratory spotlight on Canada’s diversity in its upcoming Spring Live Auction of Important Canadian Art on Tuesday, May 29 at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. The auction debut of William Kurelek’s enduring masterpiece, Hot Day in Kensington Market (1972), is among the exemplary works on offer that reflect Canada’s unique multicultural communities from coast to coast.

Kurelek’s scene of Toronto’s bustling Kensington Market in the ‘70s depicts various nationalities of the people in the crowds to the local businesses including a Hungarian bakery, Jewish butcher shop and Portuguese fish market. The painting, still in its original frame (crafted by the artist), was one of 21 works by Kurelek that was part of an acclaimed exhibition, Toronto, which the artist described as ‘depicting the soul of the city.’ Although multiple paintings from the series have appeared at auction over the years, this will be the first time that Hot Day in Kensington Market will hit the auction block (auction estimate valued at $150,000 – $200,000).

“William Kurelek is one of Canada’s most celebrated artists and storytellers, beloved for his whimsical and charming themes ranging from his childhood memories of being raised on a Manitoba farm to his well-known Toronto series,” said Rob Cowley, President of Consignor. “Hot Day in Kensington Market is one of the most popular and appealing of his Toronto scenes, and it is regarded as a significant work by Kurelek collectors, presenting the painter’s unique narrative, celebrating Canadian identity, multiculturalism and the city he loved on a sweltering summer day.”

Consignor’s Spring auction will also feature two exceptional works from internationally acclaimed artists and Indigenous art vanguards, Daphne Odjig and Bill Reid. Odjig was the driving force behind the Professional Native Indian Artists Association, colloquially known at the time as the ‘Indian Group of Seven,’ and was integral in bringing the profile of Native art and artists to the mainstream foreground. Odjig’s Family Ties, a 36” X 34” acrylic on canvas painted in 1981, has never been offered at auction, coming to the block from a corporate Canadian collection (auction estimate of $30,000 – $40,000).

Haida artist Bill Reid was considered the unofficial eighth member of the artists group founded by Odjig. He made his mark as a sculptor, renowned for his monumental works depicting Haida art and life. Reid is widely credited with the innovative revitalization of Northwest Coast Native arts and has created jewellery, sculpture and art on various mediums from cedar to jade and precious metals. A striking and rare 22-karat miniature gold sculpture, Chief of the Undersea World (estimated value of $125,000 – $175,000) was carved during the production period of the 18-ft bronze killer whale monument outside of the Vancouver Aquarium. It will be the first gold edition of his iconic killer whale carvings to be offered at auction.

Other notable Canadian works of art that will be highlighted in Consignor’s live Spring auction include:

Emily Carr, Logged Land, 23” x 34.75” oil on paper on canvas support (auction estimate of $275,000 – $325,000)
A.Y. Jackson, Ruisseau Jureux, 1931 oil on canvas painting (auction estimate of $125,000 – $175,000)
Marcelle Ferron, Sans titre, a major figure in the Quebec contemporary arts scene (auction estimate of $30,000 – $40,000)
Jean McEwen, Les Fiançailles No. 5, a large-scale  canvas by Montreal abstract master (estimate $25,000 – $35,000)

Live previews begin May 1st at the Consignor Canadian Fine Art Gallery located at 326 Dundas Street W. and the auction is currently viewable at Consignor’s Spring Live Auction of Important Canadian Art will take place on Tuesday, May 29 (7pm) at the Gardiner Museum located at 111 Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON.