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William Perehudoff, AC-78-20

William Perehudoff, AC-78-20

Auction Showcases Important Non-Figurative Works in Canadian Art History

Consignor’s Fall Live Auction of Canadian Art presents an impressive selection of abstract painting from artists across the country and through the decades. Early ventures into abstraction in Canada occurred in the 1920s and 1930s, although they were sporadic and inconsistent. These artists, notably Kathleen Munn, Bertram Brooker, Lawren Harris and Jock MacDonald, were heavily influenced by European artistic movements, namely Cubism, Surrealism and Symbolism. An examination of the abstract works in Consignor’s November sale can help illustrate the story of how abstraction emerged and developed throughout Canada in the following decades.

Jean Paul Riopelle, Sans Titre (1946)In the 1940s, Montreal gave rise to the highly-influential Automatistes, Canada’s first avant-garde art movement. Under the leadership of Paul-Émile Borduas, a group of young artists rebelled against their artistically conservative and politically and religiously repressive province. They strove for creative spontaneity, free from academic rules.

After reading André Breton’s “Le Surréalisme et la peinture” in 1945, Jean-Paul Riopelle was inspired to break away from tradition to pursue non-representational painting. The young artist created several small watercolours in the next two years, consisting of web-like black lines, inspired by Surrealism and Breton’s automatic writing techniques, such as Sans titre of 1946, lot 6 in Consignor’s November sale.

Marcelle Ferron, Sans Titre (1949)Another member of the Automatistes, Marcelle Ferron was encouraged by Borduas to abandon landscape painting in favour of a more radical abstraction. From 1946 to 1953, Ferron preferred a ‘sgraffito’ technique, applying multiple layers of pigment and scraping away between applications with a palette knife. This signature approach of Ferron is exemplified in the colourful layers of paint in Sans titre (1949), lot 101 in the Live Auction.

Harold Town, Clandeboy RepriseIn the following decade abstraction spread across Canada. Toronto exploded as an art centre in the 1950s, largely influenced by the Abstract Expressionists in New York. Harold Town was a founder and member of the Painters Eleven, a group of Toronto abstract artists that exhibited together during the 1950s. Rich colour and thick paint application, as exemplified in Clandeboy Reprise (1959), lot 71, are characteristic of Town’s approach to abstraction, inspired by the New York School.

Michael Snow, Off Minor (1958)Contemporary artist Michael Snow exhibited in Toronto in the mid-to-late 1950s at the Greenwich Gallery. Though today he is known as a pioneer of conceptualist and multimedia art throughout the world, Snow’s work of these years were also heavily influenced by American abstract artists such as De Kooning, Kline, and Rothko. Off Minor (1958), lot 25 in Consignor’s November auction, exemplifies Snow’s affiliation with avant-garde abstract movements at the time, shortly prior to creating his famous Walking Woman Works.

A notable and influential group of Canadian abstract artists formed in Regina in the 1960s, known as the Regina Five. Founding member Ron Bloore was instrumental in starting the Emma Lake workshops as a way for practising artists to break from the artistic isolation they felt in the prairies. As a professor of art history and archaeology, the influence of archeological excavation and ancient civilizations worked their way into Bloore’s painting.The monochromatic palette of Untitled, lot 86, references the white marble buildings and sculptures of ancient Greece and the Classical period.

Ron Bloore, UntitledDuring the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops held in 1962-63, Saskatchewan artist William Perehudoff was introduced to Post-Painterly Abstraction by art critic Clement Greenberg and American artist Kenneth Noland. Many of the artist’s wide horizontal canvases of the mid-to-late 1970s are composed of vibrant parallel bands of colour, such as AC-78-20, lot 11 in the live auction. The effect of the flat plains and open skies that are so dramatically present throughout Saskatchewan is often detectable in Perehudoff’s work – AC-78-20 may be evocative of a prairie sunset.

Jack Shadbolt, Sea Edge 5

Jack Shadbolt was an innovative and dominant figure in the Vancouver art scene beginning in the 1940s. Shadbolt drew from many sources of inspiration, including Cubism, Surrealism, American Regionalism and Northwest Coast art. The artist met Emily Carr in 1930 while attending Victoria College. Carr left a strong impression on Shadbolt’s life and work; they were both inspired by the spiritual unity with nature that is apparent in Northwest Coast art. Sea Edge 5 (1978), lot 9, is exemplary of Jack Shadbolt’s bold and colourful work of the late seventies. Sea Edge 5 serves as part of a series on the theme of abstracted seascapes, and Contexts: Variations on Primavera Theme, lot 10, is one of 15 hand-painted posters of the ‘primavera’ theme, which together form a mosaic-like mural.

Leon Bellefleur, RituelAbstract painting in Canada has continued to evolve through a multitude of approaches in the 1970s, 80s and through to today. Lot 8, Rituel, by Léon Bellefleur, Lot 31, Spring Yellows – B by Gershon Iskowitz, and Lot 103, Les feuilles d’un astre by Jean-Paul Jérôme, among many other non-figurative artworks in Consignor’s Fall Live Auction, demonstrate the enduring development of unique abstract styles throughout the country, from the ‘gestural’ to the ‘hard-edge’. Visit our gallery and view the full catalogue on the Consignor website for more artworks and details regarding the Fall Live Auction of Important Canadian Art on November 23rd at the Gardiner Museum.

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William Perehudoff, AC-78-20

William Perehudoff, AC-78-20

Chefs-d’œuvre d’art non-figuratifs au cœur de la vente en salle

La vente automnale d’art canadien de Consignor présente une sélection impressionnante d’oeuvres abstraites d’artistes à travers le pays et à travers les époques. Les premières incursions dans l’abstraction au Canada ont eu lieu durant les années 1920 et 1930, bien qu’elles aient été sporadiques et incohérentes. Ces artistes, notamment Kathleen Munn, Bertram Brooker, Lawren Harris et Jock MacDonald, ont été fortement influencés par les mouvements artistiques européens, à savoir le cubisme, le surréalisme et le symbolisme. Un examen des œuvres abstraites qui feront partie de la vente de novembre de Consignor peut servir comme illustration historique de la façon dont l’abstraction est apparue et s’est développée à travers le Canada au cours des décennies qui ont suivi.

Jean Paul Riopelle, Sans Titre (1946)Durant les années 1940, Montréal a donné naissance aux Automatistes, le premier mouvement artistique « avant-garde » au Canada. Sous la direction de Paul-Émile Borduas, un groupe de jeunes artistes s’est rebellé contre leur province artistiquement conservatrice, ainsi que politiquement et religieusement répressive. Après la lecture de « Le Surréalisme et la peinture » d’André Breton en 1945, Jean-Paul Riopelle a décidé de rompre avec la tradition afin de poursuivre la peinture non-figurative. Au cours des deux prochaines années, le jeune artiste crée plusieurs aquarelles de petite taille et composées de lignes entrelacées, tel que Sans titre (1946), lot 6 dans la vente de novembre de Consignor. Ces oeuvres ont étées inspirées du surréalisme et des techniques d’écriture automatique de Breton.

Un autre membre des Automatistes, Marcelle Ferron a également été encouragée par Borduas Marcelle Ferron, Sans Titre (1949)à abandonner la peinture de paysage en faveur d’une abstraction plus radicale. De 1946 à 1953, Ferron préfère une technique de « sgraffito » : elle a appliqué plusieurs couches de pigments et gratté la surface avec un couteau à palette entre chaque application. Ce style personnel de Ferron est apparent dans les couches de peinture colorées de Sans titre (1949), lot 101 dans la vente aux enchères.

Harold Town, Clandeboy RepriseAu cours de la décennie suivante, l’abstraction s’est répandue à travers le Canada. Toronto a explosé en tant que centre d’art dans les années 1950, largement influencée par les expressionnistes abstraits de New York. Harold Town était membre fondateur du « Painters Eleven », un groupe d’artistes abstraits de Toronto qui ont exposé ensemble durant les années 1950. Les couleurs vivantes et les coups de pinceaux épais, comme illustrés dans Clandeboy Reprise (1959), lot 71, sont caractéristiques du style de Town, inspiré par le « New York School ».

Michael Snow, Off Minor (1958)L’artiste contemporain Michael Snow exposait du milieu à la fin des années 1950 au Greenwich Gallery à Toronto. Bien qu’aujourd’hui il est reconnu mondialement comme un pionnier de l’art conceptualiste et multimédia, le travail de Snow de ces années a également été fortement influencé par les artistes abstraits américains tels que De Kooning, Kline et Rothko. Off Minor (1958), le lot 25 dans la vente aux enchères de Consignor en novembre, démontre l’affiliation de Snow avec les mouvements abstraits d’avant-garde de l’époque, peu avant la création de ses célèbres « Walking Woman Works ».

Un groupe notable d’artistes abstraits canadiens s’est formé à Regina dans les années 1960, connu sous le nom de Regina Five. Ron Bloore, membre fondateur, a joué un rôle déterminant dans le lancement de l’École des beaux-arts d’Emma Lake afin de permettre aux artistes de rompre avec l’isolement qu’ils ressentaient dans les Prairies. En tant que professeur d’histoire de l’art et d’archéologie, l’influence des fouilles archéologiques et des civilisations anciennes a fait son chemin dans la peinture de Bloore. La palette monochrome de Untitled, lot 86, fait référence aux bâtiments et sculptures en marbre blanc de la Grèce antique et de la période classique.

Ron Bloore, UntitledDurant les sessions à Emma Lake tenus en 1962-1963, l’artiste de la Saskatchewan William Perehudoff a été présenté à « Post-Painterly Abstraction » par le critique d’art Clement Greenberg et l’artiste américain Kenneth Noland. Plusieures des grandes toiles horizontales de Perehudoff du milieu à la fin des années 1970 sont composées de bandes de couleurs vibrantes et parallèles, tel que AC-78-20, lot 11 dans la vente aux enchères. Dans les travaux de Perehudoff, la référence aux plaines et aux ciels ouverts de la Saskatchewan est souvent détectable – AC-78-20 peut évoquer un coucher de soleil dans les prairies.

Jack Shadbolt, Sea Edge 5Jack Shadbolt était une figure novatrice et dominante de la scène artistique de Vancouver à partir des années 1940. Shadbolt a tiré de nombreuses sources d’inspiration, y compris le cubisme, le surréalisme, le régionalisme américain et l’art de la côte du Nord-Ouest. L’artiste a rencontré Emily Carr en 1930 alors qu’il fréquentait Victoria College. Cette dernière a laissé une forte impression sur la vie et le travail de Shadbolt; ils ont tous deux été inspirés par l’unité spirituelle avec la nature qui se manifeste dans l’art de la côte du Nord-Ouest. Sea Edge 5 (1978), lot 9, sert comme exemple du travail audacieux et coloré de Jack Shadbolt de la fin des années 1970, et Contexts: Variations on Primavera Theme, lot 10, est l’une des quinze affiches peintes à la main avec le thème « primavera ». Ensemble, ces quinze affiches forment une murale.

Leon Bellefleur, RituelLa peinture abstraite au Canada a continué d’évoluer à travers une multitude d’approches dans les années 1970, 1980 et aujourd’hui. Lot 8, Rituel, de Léon Bellefleur, Lot 31, Spring Yellows – B de Gershon Iskowitz, et Lot 103, Les feuilles d’un astre de Jean-Paul Jérôme, parmi beaucoup d’autres œuvres d’art non-figuratives dans la vente automnale de Consignor, démontrent le développement de styles abstraits uniques dans l’ensemble du pays, du style « gestural » au « hard-edge ». Visitez notre galerie et consultez le catalogue complet sur le site internet de Consignor pour plus d’œuvres d’art et de détails concernant la vente automnale d’art canadien, laquelle se tiendra le 23 novembre au musée Gardiner.

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(L to R) Lawren Harris, Lake Superior; Emily Carr, European Street Scene; Mary Pratt, Baking Bread; Michael Snow, Off Minor

(L to R) Lawren Harris, Lake Superior; Emily Carr, European Scene; Mary Pratt, Baking Bread; Michael Snow, Off Minor

From Charlottetown to Vancouver, Consignor’s National Travels Yield Notable Works by Emily Carr, Mary Pratt & Alex Colville to be offered on November 23rd

(Toronto – November 1, 2017) – Behind many masterpieces, there is a sketch that formulates the artist’s ideas and vision. Consignor Canadian Fine Art announces its fall semi-annual auction highlights that will include a rare pencil sketch by Lawren Harris, the preparatory work for of one of his most renowned canvases, Lake Superior, which currently hangs in the Thomson collection in the Art Gallery of Ontario. The sketch, once owned by his wife Bess Harris, carries an auction estimate valued at $20,000 – $30,000; however, its rarity and significance as the precursor to a major canvas could challenge the record for a pencil sketch by the Group of Seven artist. It debuts on the auction block at Consignor’s live auction event taking place Thursday, November 23, 2017at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto.

“The significance of pencil sketching to Lawren Harris is well known,” says Rob Cowley, President of Consignor. “His pad of paper and pencil were just as important as the oils and brushes he carried on sketching trips. We’re thrilled to have acquired this important piece of narrative in Harris’s creative process, particularly a sketch that is connected to one of his most renowned works. It is a stunning work and we expect lively bidding when it reaches the block on the 23rd.”

Fellow artist and close friend of Harris, Yvonne McKague Housser quoted the below about the artist’s process in graphite:  “His drawings are a key which open the door to what he was thinking and painting… The drawings were important as an introduction, to clarify his mind before he started a painting.”

This past summer, Consignor set out on a 10-city Art Roadshow travelling from the Maritimes to Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, Regina and Vancouver, inviting the public to consult with their specialists regarding works of art for valuation. It was during the tour that Consignor discovered some of its most unique offerings and exceptional works including the Lake Superior sketch. Other highlights from the tour, which will be offered at Consignor’s Fall Auction of Important Canadian Art include:

Featured on the cover of the Consignor fall auction catalogue is a 1958 canvas by Michael Snow titled Off Minor, being offered for the first time at auction with an estimated value of $40,000 – $60,000. The abstract painting, which measures 60” X 36”, was privately owned by Joseph Gladstone, the brother of Toronto artist Gerald Gladstone, and has not been seen at auction until now.

Live previews are ongoing at the Consignor Canadian Fine Art Gallery located at 326 Dundas Street W. and viewable at Consignor’s Fall Live Auction of Important Canadian Art event will take place on Thursday, November 23, 7:00pm at the Gardiner Museum located at 111 Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON.

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(Left to Right) Lawren Harris, Lake Superior (I.D. 463); Emily Carr, European Street Scene; Mary Pratt, Baking Bread; Michael Snow, Off Minor (1958)

De gauche à droite: Harris, Lake Superior; Carr, European Scene; Pratt, Baking Bread; Snow, Off Minor

Les œuvres d’Emily Carr, Mary Pratt et Alex Colville seront présentées aux enchères le 23 novembre

(Toronto – le 1er novembre, 2017) Consignor Canadian Fine Art annonce sa vente aux enchères semestrielle qui inclura un rare dessin au crayon de Lawren Harris, un travail préparatoire d’une de ses toiles les plus renommées, « Lake Superior », qui est présentement affichée dans la collection Thomson au Musée des beaux-arts de l’Ontario. Le dessin, qui appartenait autrefois à son épouse Bess Harris, sera offert aux enchères avec une estimation de 20 000 $ – 30 000 $. Cependant, sa rareté et son importance en tant que précurseur d’une toile majeure pourraient remettre en question le prix record pour un dessin d’un membre du Groupe des Sept. L’œuvre sera offerte à la vente en salle, laquelle aura lieu au musée Gardiner le jeudi 23 novembre.

« L’importance du dessin au crayon pour Lawren Harris est bien connue » dit Rob Cowley, Président de Consignor. « Il considérait son carnet de croquis et ses crayons tout aussi importants que les huiles et les pinceaux qu’il portait avec lui lors de ses excursions de peinture en plein air. Nous sommes ravis d’avoir acquis cette esquisse importante qui est liée à l’une des œuvres les plus célèbres de Harris. C’est une superbe œuvre d’art et nous prévoyons de fortes enchères la soirée du 23 ».

Yvonne McKague Housser, amie et collègue artiste de Harris, a décrit sa technique en graphite:  « Ses dessins sont une clé qui ouvre la porte à ce qu’il pensait et peignait…Les dessins étaient importants à titre introductif, afin de clarifier son esprit avant de commencer une toile ».

L’été dernier, Consignor s’est lancé dans une tournée d’évaluation, voyageant des Maritimes à Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, Regina et Vancouver. Les spécialistes ont invité les membres du public à amener leurs œuvres d’art à des fins d’évaluation. C’est au cours de cette tournée que Consignor a découvert certaines des œuvres les plus exceptionnelles dans le cadre de la vente de novembre, y compris le dessin du lac Supérieur.

Points saillants de la vente en salle automnale 2017 de Consignor:

Emily Carr, European Street Scene, une aquarelle peinte en 1911 lors de sa formation artistique en France (estimation 150 000 $ – 175 000 $), découverte à Calgary, Alberta

A.J. Casson, Bridge Over Humber River, une des premières œuvres de Casson créée en plein air (estimation 20 000 $  – 30 000 $), découverte en Colombie-Britannique

Mary Pratt, Baking Bread, peintre célèbre des Maritimes (30 000 $ – 40 000 $); et Alex Colville, Recording Line Zero, Near Nijmegen, une aquarelle de la période de guerre (estimation 30 000 $ – 40 000 $), les deux œuvres ont tous deux étées découvertes à Saint John, Nouveau-Brunswick

En vedette sur la page couverture du catalogue de la vente de Consignor est une toile d’huile de Michael Snow de 1958, intitulée « Off Minor ». La grande toile abstraite appartenait auparavant à Joseph Gladstone, le frère de l’artiste torontois Gerald Gladstone; elle est présentée pour la première fois aux enchères avec une valeur estimée de 40 000 $ – 60 000 $.
Les œuvres d’art sont présentement exposées à la galerie Consignor Canadian Fine Art, au 326, rue Dundas Ouest. Pour de plus amples renseignements sur l’exposition et la vente en salle, ainsi que pour accéder au catalogue en ligne, veuillez consulter le site internet La vente se tiendra le jeudi 23 novembre, au musée Gardiner (111, Queen’s Park, Toronto).

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Within the broad practice of printmaking are several distinct techniques, many of which are included in the Consignor September Auction.

Consignor’s current Online Auction of Canadian and International art, consisting of 239 lots, offers a vast range of artwork for sale in various media – oil paintings, photography, sculpture and prints.

Collecting prints is an excellent way to start or build a comprehensive art collection, as well as a way to familiarize oneself with styles and artists at a more accessible price point than other mediums.

Rita Letendre, SharasMany artists of the Post-War period embraced printmaking, creating images of their modern compositions in multiple copies. Leader of the abstract colourist movement, Rita Letendre produced many silkscreen prints, such as Sharas, lot 56. Also known as serigraphy or screen printing, the silkscreen process consists of a stencilled image placed in a frame, which has a layer of mesh stretched across it, forming a ‘screen’. Ink is then pushed through the stencil onto a sheet of paper. Dating to 1973, Letendre’s Sharas serves as a prime example of her signature style of hard-edge abstraction.

Jean Paul Riopelle, Les Oies IILithography has also been a popular printmaking method among 20th century Canadian artists. Jean Paul Riopelle frequently worked in this medium, creating abstract and quasi-abstract images such as Les Oies II, lot 58 in the September auction. In this process the artist draws an image onto stone with a grease-based medium, then applies ink to the stone, which adheres only to the image. The stone is then run through a press onto a sheet of paper. The online auction features two lots of rare black and white lithographs by Henri Masson of Quebec village scenes. These charming prints, lots 91 and 92, are examples of the artist’s very limited body of work in printmaking.

Ed Bartram, CycleA very old form of printmaking that is still used today is etching. Using a needle, the artist scratches a composition onto a metal plate covered with wax. The plate is then submerged in acid, which eats into the metal exposed by the scratched lines. Etching has often been used to achieve very delicate black and white images, such as lot 155 by Caroline Armington, a pair of etchings depicting two of Paris’ famous bridges. A more contemporary rendering of the etching technique is lot 54, Cycle by contemporary Canadian artist Ed Bartram.

Harold Town, UntitledPurchasing prints at auction are also an excellent and accessible way to collect the work Canada’s most renowned artists. Lots 64, 81 and 90 by William Kurelek, Harold Town and Ted Harrison respectively, provide the opportunity to own a composition in these painters’ distinct styles, as their prints are more readily-available and affordable when compared to original works.

Consignor’s September Auction of Canadian and International art includes many excellent examples of traditional printmaking methods used by Canadian artists. Buying prints at auction is also a fantastic platform for the emerging collector. Visit our website and view our full online catalogue for more details on the available works and upcoming sales.

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Records Broken & New Traditions Established for Consignor This Season

Old Orchard, a major 1940 painting by Franklin Carmichael was sold for $475,000 during the spring auction season, the highest price paid for the painter’s work in eight years and one of the highest values ever achieved for the painter’s work by an auction firm.  The price was just one of the many highlights encountered by Consignor Canadian Fine Art this spring.

The Spring Live Auction of Important Canadian Art, held May 25th, was an evening of new traditions and continued success for Consignor, the auction establishing strong prices for historical, post-war and contemporary works of quality and rarity.  The auction was held for the first time at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum, the downtown venue filled to capacity with an electric environment of excitement palpable from the drop of the hammer on the first lot sold.  The classy and cozy setting was instantly popular with clients, paddles comfortably waving in the air throughout the night.

Excited bidding participation came through not only in the room, but through spirited telephone and absentee bidding, pushing choice artworks well beyond expectation.  Drawing strong reaction from the room was the sale of Three Black Cats, the small oil painting by Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis fetching a record $36,800 (prices posted include applicable Buyer’s Premium), almost double the previous auction record and five times the presale estimate.  Appreciation for Atlantic Canadian artists continued with David Blackwood’s Fire Down on the Labrador selling for $48,300, doubling its estimate and marking the second highest price ever achieved for the iconic imagery created by the Newfoundlander printmaker.

Artwork by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven continued to excited collectors during the spring season, with notable results including: Tom Thomson’s Fallen Timber (Algonquin) selling for $125,000; Edwin Holgate’s Autumn Leaves selling for $75,000; Madawaska, a 20 x 26 inch canvas by A.Y. Jackson fetching $69,000; A.J. Casson’s captivating Old Hotel, Elora selling for $36,800 while Casson’s Byng Inlet fetched $29,900.  Works on paper by the Group saw record prices set with Lawren Harris’ Snow-Covered Trees more than doubling its estimate to reach $50,600 and A.Y. Jackson’s Gulf of St. Lawrence selling for $14,950, both auction records for works on paper by the artists.

Further historical highlights displayed a love for portraiture from collectors this season with an enchanting Jean Paul Lemieux portrait fetching $48,300; Randolph Hewton’s Portrait of Thomas Archer Esq. selling for $14,950; and Hal Ross Perrigard’s Vere reaching $10,925, each exceeding their pre-sale estimate.

Post-War and Contemporary Canadian works performed notably during the May 25th live auction with: Ted Harrison’s The Grecian House (Dawson City) selling for $34,500, Sorel Etrog’s “Ferrari red” Sadko fetching $27,600, Paul-Émile Borduas’ Abstract Composition watercolour reaching $21,850 and Rita Letendre’s L’Enchenteur selling for $17,250.

The May live auction was surrounded by Consignor’s March and June Online Auctions, sales which are carefully catered not only to established collectors looking to supplement their existing collections but also to new collectors who continue to hunt for gems to create an assemblage.  Feverish online bidding led to collectors across Canada and beyond being awarded notable works of art by A.J. Casson, J.W. Beatty, Manly MacDonald, H.S. PalmerAlan Collier, Yvonne McKague HousserGoodridge RobertsJack Bush, Alex ColvilleNorval MorrisseauDavid Urban, Angela Leach, and Kim Dorland, among many others.

We extend our thanks to the consignors, buyers, bidders and clients who helped to ensure another season of success for Consignor Canadian Fine Art.  Preparation has already begun for our fall sales, including the Live Auction of Important Canadian Art (to be held on November 23rd at the Gardiner Museum).  We are currently accepting consignments for the upcoming sales and our team would be delighted to meet with you in our downtown Toronto gallery or during our national travels this summer.  The summer months feature a selling exhibition in the gallery and online, allowing clients the opportunity to consider a variety of work by Canadian artists, available for immediate sale (full listing available here).

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Edward Bartram, Island Cut, Moose Bay

June Online Auction Open For Bidding Between June 7th and 14th

Angela Leach, AR Wave 37Consignor’s June Online Auction of Canadian and International Art begins this week with 266 lots forming a second session to follow our May 25th live auction. Our two live auctions each year adhere to the global tradition of showcasing the highest valued works in the months of May and November; this is when we see headlines about the record sales in London and New York of paintings for millions of dollars each. As a result, the reputation of auction houses is often misconstrued, and many people develop a tendency to associate auctions as being far from accessible to the majority of art collectors. However, this is certainly not always the case. Our online sales, such as the current June auction, provide an excellent opportunity to purchase artworks in a variety of styles and price ranges – an ideal platform for starting or building an art collection.


John Anderson, Track Down to the Ripe Barley

One of the most consistent subjects of artwork we receive on consignment is the Canadian landscape. Our firm offers many picturesque scenes of the country’s wilderness in traditional renderings by historical artists, as well as contemporary depictions of Canada’s terrain.  Stunning prints by Edward John Bartram (b. 1938) provide a fresh take on the classic Group of Seven subject of Georgian Bay. Lot 264, entitled Island Cut, Moose Bay is a hand-coloured etching with a dramatic perspective of the shoreline and jewel-toned blue colour palette. Bartram is a living artist based in Toronto, whose work frequently is exhibited and sold in galleries, and at gallery – ie. retail – prices. When his work comes up at auction, estimates reflect the fair market value, which provides the opportunity to own a framed artwork at a highly affordable price. Other contemporary landscape artists whose work trades at the gallery level as well as at auction are David T. Alexander (b. 1947) and John Anderson (b. 1940). The two artists create modern and colourful renditions of the Canadian landscape, often in a large-scale format, such as lot 254, Alexander’s semi-abstract Rocky Mountain Lake and lot 370, Anderson’s Track Down to the Ripe Barley in cheerful shades of green.

Jack Bush, Cross OverA speciality at Consignor is post-war abstract art, a movement in Canadian art that paralleled the aesthetic tendencies of the American Abstract Expressionists and Colour-Field painters of the 1950s and 1960s. We have a selection of six abstract prints by the prolific artist Jack Bush (1909-1977) in our June auction, such as lot 263, Cross Over, with his distinctive vibrant colour palette. Bush was a founding member of Painters Eleven, a Toronto artist group whose objective was to promote abstract painting in Canada. La Plonge #8, lot 244 in our June auction, is a colour lithograph by William Perehudoff (1919-2013), who was another central figure in Canadian abstraction, since the 1960s. A Saskatchewan native, the effect of the flat plains and open skies of the prairies are alluded to in many of his abstract works such as this one. An example of a more recent style of abstract art is lot 249 AR-Wave #37, painted in 2001 by Angela Leach (b. 1966). A contemporary artist based in Toronto, Leach explores the possibilities of Op Art, a style of visual art that uses optical illusions, giving the viewer the impression of movement and vibrating patterns. Consignor frequently offers many abstract works of art, dating from the 1950s to today, that serve as perfect examples of artwork that can be effortlessly incorporated to homes with modern decor.


Alex Colville, Prize CowWe also offer other popular subjects including still lifes, portraits, and street scenes. Lot 226, Chestnut Street by Albert Franck (1899-1973) presents a charming view of the quintessential residential streets in downtown Toronto. Our online auctions include art in a variety of media, such as oil paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photography and posters. Purchasing prints at auction are an excellent and accessible way to collect the work of very well-known Canadian artists. Lot 253, a serigraph entitled Prize Cow by Alexander Colville (1920-2013), provides the opportunity to own an image of the painter’s distinct realist style, as his prints are more readily-available and affordable when compared to his oil paintings.


Consignor’s online auctions offer an optimal venue for the emerging collector. Our sales provide a vast and ever-changing selection of artwork that fits your price range, personal taste and home decor. The quality and value of artworks offered at auction can be far superior to something of the same price at a commercial gallery or retail store. The concept of collecting art does not have to be intimidating and it is much more accessible than you think!

  • David Alexander, Rocky Mountain Lake
  • William Perehudoff, La Plonge #8
  • Albert Franck, Chestnut Street
  • Angela Leach, AR Wave 37
  • Alex Colville, Prize Cow
  • Jack Bush, Cross Over
  • John Anderson, Track Down to the Ripe Barley
  • Edward Bartram, Island Cut, Moose Bay

Posted by & filed under Cowley Abbott News & Press, Cowley Abbott Updates, Cowley Abbott Videos, Sale Updates.

Posted by & filed under Cowley Abbott News & Press, Cowley Abbott Updates, Sale Updates.

Franklin Carmichael, Old Orchard (1940)

(Toronto – May 2, 2017) Two celebrated artworks by Group of Seven painter Franklin Carmichael are the centerpiece to Consignor Canadian Fine Art’s upcoming Spring Live Auction of Important Canadian Art taking place May 25th at the Gardiner Museum, Toronto. A large-scale oil painting, Old Orchard (1940), will make its auction debut having been privately owned by the family of Herbert Laurence Rous, founder of the renown Rous and Mann printing studio where many of the Group of Seven artists began their careers.

The iconic image depicting a neighbour’s orchard, painted from the view of his studio in present-day North York, Ontario, was used as the catalogue cover for Carmichael’s memorial exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the AGO) and the Summer 1947 issue of Canadian Art Magazine, following his death. This will be the first time Old Orchard will be on the auction block (estimated between $500,000 – $700,000); however, given its significance, quality and rarity, the artwork is expected to challenge the current record for a Carmichael painting (Frood Lake sold at auction in December, 2002, for $915,000 including buyer’s premium).

As the youngest original member of the Group of Seven, Carmichael is also considered one of Canada’s most renowned watercolourists of the twentieth century. Consignor’s auction also includes a stunning watercolour, The Bay of Islands (1929) estimated at $150,000 – $200,000, a sister version of Carmichael’s Bay of Islands that is part of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s permanent collection.

“Franklin Carmichael’s accomplishments in oil and watercolour are recognized as some of the greatest work produced by the Group of Seven. Both Old Orchard and The Bay of Islands illustrate Carmichael’s mastery of the two media, setting him apart as one of Canada’s preeminent painters,” says Rob Cowley, President of Consignor Canadian Fine Art. “Old Orchard has stood as an example of Carmichael’s best work through its exhibition history over the past 80 years, and we are very excited to be hosting this major work at auction for the first time.”

Consignor’s Spring auction will also offer two important works by Tom Thomson painted in his early career. A modestly-sized oil on canvas, Road Near Leith (1908), estimated between $100,000 to $150,000, was painted at the start of the decade which would see his transformation into one of Canada’s greatest painters; and Fallen Timber (Algonquin) (1912), estimated at $150,000 – $200,000, was painted the first year that Thomson visited Algonquin Park where his most iconic works would be created, and ironically the site of his untimely death in 1917, exactly 100 years ago this July.

“It’s an incredible time for Canadian art as we celebrate our country’s sesquicentennial, alongside unprecedented growth and global attention for painters such as Tom Thomson, Lawren Harris and the Group of Seven and now a feature film about Maud Lewis’s life — combining to reinvigorate the public’s fascination and appreciation for Canadian artists,” says Lydia Abbott, Vice President, Consignor Canadian Fine Art. “The Spring auction features artwork that spans the entire 150 years of Canada’s history and presents a rich narrative of our cultural fabric.”

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

  • A.Y. Jackson, Madawaska, 20” x 26” oil on canvas (auction estimate $60,000-$80,000)
  • David Blackwood, Fire Down on the Labrador, the artist’s most popular print (auction estimate $25,000-$30,000)
  • Lawren Harris, Snow-Covered Trees, 1929 gouache (auction estimate $15,000-$18,000)
  • Edwin Holgate, Autumn Leaves, 17” x 21” oil on canvas (auction estimate $90,000-120,000)

Live Previews are currently taking place at the Consignor Canadian Fine Art Gallery located at 326 Dundas Street West and viewable at  Consignor’s Spring Live Auction of Important Canadian Art will take place on Thursday, May 25th, 2017 at the Gardiner Museum located at 111 Queen’s Park, Toronto.

Since its inception in 2013, Consignor’s live and online auctions have included headline-grabbing works such as a rare 100-year-old Tom Thomson portrait (Daydreaming, sold for $172,500), an undiscovered William Kurelek (Ukrainian Proverb, sold for $41,400), and Jack Bush’s Summer Lake broke online auction records in May 2014 for the most expensive painting by a Canadian artist to be sold at an online auction ($310,500). Most recently, Consignor’s inaugural live auction event in May 2016 set the record for the highest-selling Algoma sketch by Lawren Harris, fetching $977,500; tripling the previous auction record.

Consignor Canadian Fine Art is currently accepting consignments for its upcoming auctions, including the June Online Auction of Canadian and International Artwork, with bidding open at from June 7-14, 2017. Consignor offers all-inclusive selling commissions and the lowest buyer’s premium in the industry. Those interested in consignment can arrange a complimentary and confidential consultation by contacting Consignor’s specialists at 1-866-931-8415 or [email protected]