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John Graham Coughtry
Printemps 2015 - 1ère séance Vente en salle

Lot # 013

John Graham Coughtry
AOCA CGP OSA 1931 - 1999 Canadian

Water Figure
oil on canvas
on verso signed, titled and dated 1982
56 x 48 pouces  142.2 x 121.9cm

Provenance:
The Isaacs Gallery Ltd., Toronto
Collection of Roy L. Heenan, OC, Montreal

Référence:
Colin S. MacDonald, A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume 1, 1997, page 538a

Graham Coughtry began his series of works depicting the single figure in 1962. He credits the influence of Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti, whose work he saw in France while on a Timothy Eaton traveling scholarship in 1954 and 1955, with having a profound impact on him, and with shaping his interest in the single, ghostlike, ambiguous figure. These solitary figures are the best-known of Coughtry's works and define his interest in the human form. In them he has explored various human yearnings - that of flight, for instance - by depicting the figure flying through the air, and various human activities - including lovemaking - in a ghostlike, ethereal manner. His figures recline, sleep, stretch their languid forms and fall through richly painted atmospheres that evoke weather, environment and time.
His colour selection for each work furthers the ideas in them, and Water Figure is an excellent example of this. A young woman, arms thrown backwards, moves with dance-like abandon through an expanse of blue water. White spray flies around her legs and green reflects up the side of her brown-skinned body. Her slight form is characteristic of Coughtry's general treatment of the figure - his debt to Giacometti is most evident here - but also speaks of youth and beauty. She is a nymph.
Coughtry was trained at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts School of Art and Design and had excellent teachers there in Goodridge Roberts and Jacques de Tonnancour. From there he moved to the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, where Jock Macdonald was teaching at the time. Coughtry excelled as a student; he won the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire prize as well as the Eaton scholarship that took him to Europe. In addition to painting, he executed numerous commissioned murals - his flying figures adorned the walls of Toronto Pearson Airport. He was also trained and practised as a graphic artist, working for Graphica & Associates and later in the graphics department of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's television division in Toronto. In 1957 his canvas Night Interior was included in the Second Biennial of Canadian Art, held at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. He also worked as a sculptor, and his bronze Tritons stands outside Yorkdale Mall in Toronto.
In 1990 Christopher Hume reviewed Coughtry's figurative work in the Toronto Star, wherein he was very impressed with the paintings, noting how they explored "the figure stretched out in full abandonment, against a wildly-painted background of icy blue, turquoise, white, orange, gray and black...Some verge on the recognizable, most are semi-abstract variations on a theme...To see works like this is to be convinced that Coughtry could paint anything he wanted. And beautifully. When he's under control and everything's going well, he's indisputably one of Canada's most accomplished painters."

Estimation: 40,000 $ ~ 60,000 $ CAN

S'est vendu pour: 88,500.00 $ CAN (prime d'achat incluse)


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