E.J. Hughes and Jean Paul Lemieux Paintings
Lead Way in Heffel's $13.6 Million Fine Art Auction

VANCOUVER - May 17, 2011, 10:00 p.m. PST

A rare E.J. Hughes painting from the 1940s was the front runner at the Heffel Fine Art Spring Auction, going under the hammer for $1,140,750 (all prices include a 17 per cent buyers premium). Representing one of only a dozen Hughes paintings from the late 1940s, Coastal Boats Near Sidney, BC, a 36 1/8 x 48 1/8 inch oil on canvas attracted a lot of attention and soared past its pre-auction estimate of $700,000 to $900,000 in a three-caller bidding war. Excitement over Hughes works continued when Mouth of the Courtenay River, a 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas, signed and dated 1952, sold for $789,750.

Heffel Fine Art Auction House recorded the sixth highest grossing Canadian fine art auction tonight at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The auction exceeded its conservative presale estimate of $8 to $12 million, selling $13.6 million worth of Canadian art. The $8.8 million afternoon session set a record for Post-War and Contemporary art.

Two Jean Paul Lemieux works garnered significant attention. Dimanche, an oil on canvas, signed and dated 1966, created a new record when it went under the hammer for $819,000. Les Moniales, a painting that exhibited in Moscow when Lemieux travelled there in 1974 and 1975, broke this record and sold for an impressive $1,023,750.

"The Hughes and Lemieux works in the sale represented both artists at their finest. Coastal Boats took Hughes six to eight months of 12 hour days to paint and is a true aesthetic footprint of the artist. Dimanche is classic Lemieux featuring a single figure in a sombre background," says Robert Heffel of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. "It was an honour for us to represent these works and witness the excitement surrounding them."

Additional highpoints in the auction included Jean-Paul Riopelle's Sans titre from 1955, which also hit the million dollar mark selling for $1,082,250. The auction featured five Riopelle works which collectively sold for $1,477,125. Works by Group of Seven member Lawren Stewart Harris sold for a collective $810,225. This included Harris' North Shore, Lake Superior, Pic Island II, an oil on board that is part of the artist's pivotal Lake Superior series, which sold for $269,100.

Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson's Smart River, Alaska Highway received considerable attention, more than doubling its estimate of $125,000 to $175,000, selling for $479,700.

Three Helen Galloway McNicoll works were on the auction block as well. The standout amongst the McNicoll works was an oil on canvas, Market in Brittany, which sold for $234,000.

David Brown Milne's Woman and Bright Trees, West Saugerties, NY, an oil canvas created in 1913 to 1914 when the artist was working in New York, sold for $409,500.

The auction also featured five pieces by Emily Carr including Trees in the Wind Circle from 1938, which sold for $198,900. Gnarled Tree, a strong example of early vibrant work from Canada's first lady of fine art, sold for $234,000.

Tonight's auction featured works from the estates of Montreal collector Theodosia Dawes Bond Thornton, Andrée Lavigne-Trudeau, who was married to the brother of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and Edgar and Dorothy Davidson.

The Davidson estate featured 34 lots and had a conservative estimate of $2.5 to 3.5 million. The combined total of the estate sold for $4,883,580.

"The Davidson's were bold collectors, choosing works they felt were the best expressions of Canadian ideals, issues, politics and life - works in which they saw enduring value and above all, the finest of quality," says David Heffel of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. "It was a privilege to present this estate and to be considered a leader in estate sales in the fine art auction industry."

Tonight's auction presented 167 lots. In total, 12 new records were set and 26 paintings exceeded the $100,000 mark.

"This auction featured one of our finest collections of artwork to date with exceptional works from Canadian artists such as Gordon Smith, David Blackwood, Rita Letendre, Takao Tanabe, Maurice Galbraith Cullen, Cornelius David Krieghoff and Kathleen Moir Morris," says David Heffel. "This $13.6 million sale is a notable night for our business and a significant night for Canadian art."

The complete list of new Canadian fine art records follows below. High resolution images of the top paintings in the auction are available on request.

Information on the pieces and artists can also be found at www.heffel.com.

New Records set in Heffel's May 17, 2011 Fine Art Auction

These are the 12 new records set at today's Heffel Post-War & Contemporary Art and Fine Canadian Art auction. All prices include the 17 per cent buyers' premium added to the hammer price.

Record for Post-War & Contemporary Art: $8.8 million in sales

David Blackwood

David Blackwood
Lot 005 -Barbour's Seabird Leaving Newton

New Record: $43,875

Jack Bush

Jack Bush
Lot 017 - Purple Thrust

New Record for a work on paper: $76,050

Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith
Lot 020a - W.F. 3

New Record: $140,400

Jean Paul Mousseau

Jean Paul Mousseau
Lot 023 - Suspended Lamp

New Record for a sculpture: $43,875

Ian Baxter

Ian Baxter&
Lot 037 - Mount Rundle - Banff, Alberta

New Record: $43,875

Jean Paul Lemieux

Jean Paul Lemieux
Lot 057 - Dimanche

New Record: $819,000

Jean Paul Lemieux

Jean Paul Lemieux
Lot 058 - Les Moniales

Surpassed Lot 057 for a New Record: $1,023,750

Henriette Fauteux-Masse

Henriette Fauteux-Masse
Lot 061- Cosmos

New Record: $8,775

Rita Letendre

Rita Letendre
Lot 062 - Rencontre en flame

New Record: $187,200

EJ Hughes

EJ Hughes
Lot 071- Coastal Boats Near Sidney, BC

New Record: $1,140,750

Horatio Walker

Horatio Walker
Lot 143 - The Ice Cutters, Île d'Orléans

New Record: $87,750

About Heffel Fine Art Auction House

Founded in Vancouver, BC, Heffel Fine Art Auction House has conducted all 11 of the most valuable live auctions of Canadian art. The auction house is led by an experienced team of fine art specialists and has national presence with offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Calgary. As the industry leader, Heffel holds over 60 percent market share of worldwide Canadian art auction sales, with over $275 million in art auction sales since 1995. Heffel publishes its entire live auction online at www.heffel.com, from initial promotion and illustrated lot listings to the auction's live multi-camera web cast and final sale results.

For more information contact:

David Heffel or Robert Heffel: 1-800-528-9608
email: david@heffel.com / robert@heffel.com

Heffel Fine Art Auction House - Canada's National Fine Art Auction House

Vancouver Office:
2247 Granville Street, Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada V6H 3G1
tel: (604) 732 6505
fax: (604) 732 4245
toll free: (800) 528 9608

Toronto Office:
13 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto
Ontario, Canada M5R 2E1
tel: (416) 961 6505
fax: (416) 961 4245
toll free: (866) 961 6505

Montreal Office:
1840 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal
Quebec, Canada H3H 1E4
tel: (514) 939 6505
fax: (514) 939 1100
toll free: (866) 939 6505

Ottawa Office ~ by appointment:
451 Daly Avenue, Ottawa
Ontario, Canada K1N 6H6
tel: (613) 230 6505
fax: (613) 230 8884
toll free: (866) 747 6505

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