FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANDY WARHOL, GUIDO MOLINARI, EMILY CARR, GROUP OF SEVEN AND OTHER CANADIAN AND INTERNATIONAL MASTERS GO UNDER THE HAMMER ON DECEMBER 6
Already the highest-grossing single collection of Canadian art sold at auction at nearly $30 million, one of Canada’s most-significant private Canadian art collections has its final session
Toronto, ON (October 23, 2023): Rare and important artworks from several prominent private and public collections will go under the auction hammer in Cowley Abbott’s fall auction of Canadian and international masters on Wednesday, December 6. This two-session live auction is valued at over $10 million.
Highlights of the first session include two canvases by abstract painter Guido Molinari,deaccessioned by the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and five notable works by Canadian artists William James Bennett, Jack Bush, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Jean Paul Lemieux and David Milne, from the collection of the late Joe and Anita Robertson.
Born in Montreal, Molinari (1933-2004) was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1971 and achieved international renown, having exhibited in New York and at the 1968 Venice Biennale, and was featured in retrospectives at the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. His art is actively pursued by collectors around the world. Molinari is represented by major works in the AGO’s collection, as well as across Canada. Following museum guidelines, the proceeds of deaccessioning go towards future acquisitions.
“It is our privilege to represent the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Collection of the late Joe and Anita Robertson in the offering of these Canadian artworks. Our firm has a history of success in the sale of Molinari’s work and they are already inviting strong interest from collectors. It is a pleasure to collaborate with our colleagues and neighbours at the AGO and we are thrilled to donate a portion of our commission to support future acquisitions by the institution.” – Rob Cowley, President, Cowley Abbott
From the collection of the late Joe and Anita Robertson, prominent Niagara region businesspeople and philanthropists, comes four spectacular paintings and a collection of four prints. The Robertson’s made major financial contributions to the performing arts and health organizations, and were active supporters of the United Way, among many other charitable causes.
From an early New York canvas by David Milne (Billowing Trees, estimate $100,000 – $150,000); to a rare, large canvas by Jack Bush of Port Loring (Sunset at Port Loring, estimate $25,000 – $35,000); to William James Bennett’s captivating scenes of Niagara Falls (four aquatints, estimate $15,000 – $20,000) and a pair of celebrated subjects by Quebec masters, Jean Paul Lemieux (Femme en noir, estimate: $150,000 – $200,000) and Marc-Aurèle Fortin (Vieille maison, estimate $40,000 – $60,000), each work of art was carefully chosen by the Robertson, who have been advised by Brett Sherlock through the auction process. Cowley Abbott will donate a portion of their selling commission to the United Way Niagara Falls in memory of Joe, Anita and their daughter Laura, who passed away in 2018. An online auction of artwork from the Robertson Family Collection will also be held by Cowley Abbott this fall.
The second session of the live auction event is devoted entirely to the final sale of a landmark three-session auction of one of Canada’s most prominent, well-known and extensively-exhibited private art collections. Expertly curated over 60 years, the collection of rare and remarkable artworks features prime example, museum-quality paintings, drawings and sculptures by Canada’s most celebrated historical artists.
With two-thirds sold to-date for nearly $30 million, it is already the highest-grossing single collection of Canadian art to ever sell at auction. The sales through Cowley Abbott have achieved over 20 artist records, with nine artworks selling in excess of $1 million and 80 of 100 works of art sold exceeding the high-end pre-sale auction estimate. The final session is rich in important and rare art by celebrated Canadian historical artists, including the members of the Group of Seven, Emily Carr, Cornelius Krieghoff, Helen McNicoll and Paul Peel.
The two-session live auction, Important Canadian & International Art and Artwork from An Important Private Collection (Part Three), takes place on Wednesday, December 6 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. EST respectively at the Globe and Mail Centre, 351 King St. East, Toronto. It will also be livestreamed online at cowleyabbott.ca, allowing for simultaneous in-person, telephone, absentee and real-time online bidding – enabling prospective buyers to participate from anywhere in the world.
Before hitting the auction block, highlights will be previewed at Montreal’s Mount Stephen Hotel from November 9th to 11th and then all artworks included in the two-session live sale will be exhibited at Cowley Abbott’s gallery, 326 Dundas Street West, located across the street from the Art Gallery of Ontario, free for the public to view from November 16th to December 5th.
Preceding the official November fall previews, a free pop-up public exhibition, Important Canadian and International Art Selections, will feature roughly 70 artworks from the two sales, on display in the Cowley Abbott Toronto Gallery from October 23rd to November 3rd.
Additional fall auction highlights include:
For a full auction schedule, additional highlights, or an online catalogue please visit CowleyAbbott.ca. Those interested in consignment can arrange a consultation by contacting Cowley Abbott’s specialists at 1-866-931-8415 or [email protected]. Preliminary auction assessments are offered on a complimentary and confidential basis with no further obligation.
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 a dual gallery 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.