VANCOUVER, MAY 17, 2012
- Heffel's Spring 2012 auction surpassed expectations, totalling $14.6 million in sales, further cementing Heffel Fine Art Auction House's place as the leader in Canadian Art.
- An exciting return to auction after his work sold at the 2011 Fall auction for an international record breaking amount, Jean Paul Lemieux's La plage américaine sold for $1.8 million far exceeding the estimate.
- Eagle Totem, the very rare mature period oil on canvas by Emily Carr sold for an exciting $1.6 million. Heffel's sale of Eagle Totem is the second highest selling price for an Emily Carr at auction. Along with seven other masterworks, Emily Carr alone commanded an impressive $2.8 million in sales, confirming Carr's place as Canada's most important female artist.
- The Group of Seven continues to command an astounding response with sales exceeding expectations, including Lawren Harris' famous oil, Lake Superior selling for $526,500 and Building the Ice House: Hamilton for $380,250.
Robert Heffel hammered down Emily Carr's
Eagle Totem at $1.6 million at tonight's Spring auction,
making it the second most valuable Emily Carr
sold at an auction.
This evening in Vancouver, Heffel Fine Art Auction House celebrated Canadian artists and their masterworks with a Spring auction representing the best in Canadian Post-War &Contemporary Art and Fine Canadian Art, from coast to coast. The results of Heffel's Spring Auction surpassed expectations, totalling $14.6 million in sales (all prices are in Canadian dollars and include a 17 per cent buyer's premium). The 184 lots up for sale included some of Canada's most reputable and recognizable works, many being displayed in public for the first time in generations.
The live auction attracted hundreds of interested buyers, present in the ballroom, watching live online, and on phone from across Canada and around the world. With art collectors acquiring Canadian masterpieces, Heffel's successful event helps place this auction among the top ten Canadian auctions of all times, all ten of which were conducted by Heffel.
Starting the auction off with a bang, West Coast modernist B.C. Binning's Two Ships Standing Off sold for $64,350 (Estimate: $20,000 ~ $30,000 CAD).
After smashing the record for a contemporary painting sold by auction in Canada at Heffel's last auction, Jean Paul Lemieux continued to demonstrate why he is among the most important Post War and Contemporary artists in Canada. La plage américaine, a painting which travelled around the globe with Lemieux, exceeded pre-sale estimates and sold for $1.8 million. The total for all Lemieux's in tonight's sale was $2.5 million, including Le mois de juin, for $380,250 and Monseigneur for $163,800.
"The Lemieux market continued very strong this evening led by the exceptional result for La plage américaine at $1.8 million," said David Heffel, president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. "This represents the second most valuable Lemieux at auction following the record for Nineteen Ten Remembered that Heffel set last fall."
Lawren Harris drew very impressive results. The sketch, Lake Superior commanded $526,500. James Edward Hervey (J.E.H.) MacDonald, another member of the Group of Seven, also took the spotlight at the auction with Early Autumn, Montreal River, Algoma (Estimate: $80,000 to $100,000) which sold for $526,500, over five times the high estimate value and a record for a sketch by the artist. Other works, including scenic portrayals of Georgian Bay and urban cityscapes dominated at the live auction, representing all original members of The Group of Seven including Carmichael, Johnston, Varley and Jackson.
One of the most anticipated lots in tonight's auction, Emily Carr's Eagle Totem, sold for $1.6 million, a true indication of Carr's outstanding reputation as Canada's most acclaimed female artist. This mature period oil on canvas displaying First Nations subject matter was expected to sell for $600,000 - $800,000, but not surprisingly exceeded this estimate as one of the rarest treasures in Canadian art. Heffel's sale of Eagle Totem is the second highest selling price for an Emily Carr at auction. Not to overshadow Carr's other works up for sale including War Canoes, Alert Bay, her seven pieces sold for a total of $2.8 million. Heffel maintains a strong hold on selling valuable Carr works, having sold eight of the top-ten priced works by this artist.
Other notable West Coast artists with masterworks up for sale include E.J. Hughes' Englewood that was accompanied with a personalized letter from the artist. Hughes' piece sold for $292,500, in good company alongside Receding Tide, Departure Bay which sold for $210,600 and The Nanaimo Bastion, for $257,400.
William Kurelek's After the Big Blow, a charming work portraying children having fun in the snow, sold at the Heffel Spring Auction for $76,050, far exceeding the estimate (Estimate: $12,000 - $15,000).
Tonight's sales result of $14.6 million is well beyond the $9 to $12 million presale estimate. The Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art session, which commenced at 4 p.m. PST, had sales totalling $6.1 million, and The Fine Canadian Art session beginning at 7 p.m. PST holds sales of $8.5 million.
New Records set in Heffel's May 17, 2012 Fine Art Auction
These are the five new records set during Heffel's Spring 2012 Auction. All prices include the 17 per cent buyers' premium added to the hammer price. High-resolution images of the top paintings in the auction can be provided upon request.
- The feature cover lot by JEH MacDonald Early Autumn, Montreal River, Algoma created a bidding war and sold for $526,500 (Estimate: $ 80,000 - $100,000), a record for a sketch by MacDonald.
- A new record was set at auction for Christopher Pratt's artwork, Landing, which sold for $198,900.
- The sale of West Coast artist E.J. Hughes' After a Movie, on Kiska from 1943 has set a Heffel record for a drawing sold at an auction for $52,650.
- Heffel's Fine Canadian Art session led with the superb woodcut by Walter J. Phillips, Karlukwees, BC which ties the Heffel record for a print by Phillips selling for $40,950.
- Heffel broke their current record for a work on paper with Alexander Colville's piece Study for Woman, Dog & Canoe, which sold for a record $46,800.
Information on the pieces and artists can also be found at www.heffel.com.
About Heffel Fine Art Auction House
Heffel has sold more Canadian art than any other auctioneer worldwide, with over $300 million in art auction sales since 1995, and has conducted the most valuable live auctions of Canadian art. Heffel is led by the most experienced team of fine art specialists in Canada. With offices and representatives in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary, Heffel provides superior client services to both sellers and buyers nationwide. In addition to full-colour printed catalogues, 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 webcast and final sale results.
For more information, to schedule an interview or media viewing, or for high-resolution images, please contact:
NATIONAL Public Relations
David Heffel / Robert Heffel
Heffel Fine Art Auction House
604-418-6505 / 604-418-0100
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com