LOT 013

1904 - 1990

oil on canvas board
signed and dated 1967 and on verso titled
15 x 30 in, 38.1 x 76.2 cm

Estimate: $125,000 - $175,000 CAD

Sold for: $133,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Private Collection, Australia
Sold sale of Fine Canadian Art, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, May 25, 2006, lot 34
Private Collection, Toronto
Sold sale of Heffel Fine Art, June,15, 2020, lot #013

Guy Robert, Lemieux, 1978, page 241

From the outset, Jean Paul Lemieux’s singular aesthetic sensibility revolved around thematics inherent in the stages of life and the cycle of time. Beyond issues of temporality, works such as November encapsulate the artist’s interest in exploring the symbolic dimensions of cyclical, seasonal change. In his work, pictorial renditions of winter, spring, summer and fall act as metaphors for the shifting states of being intrinsic to the human condition.

An excellent representation of what has been termed by Guy Robert as Lemieux’s “affective geographies,” November was produced in 1967, the year in which the artist began to gain true recognition. He was an invited participant in the National Gallery of Canada’s Three Hundred Years of Canadian Art and, also that year, was the subject of a large traveling retrospective exhibition organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

In its horizontal format, dusky warmth, and focus on an expansive, empty landscape, this painting is quintessentially Lemieux. Despite its small scale, the work conveys a kinesthetic sense of the “grand journey,” a traversing of both time and space. The idea of voyage/voyaging was omnipresent in the artist’s oeuvre, meant as a metaphor for self-searching and discovery. Here, the moving automobile advances towards the foreground from a distant horizon line, a suggestion perhaps of a voyage towards a kind of enlightened state. This possibility is reinforced by the formal disposition of the outstretched road, which expands in a wide diagonal as the car nears the picture plane - that is, nears its destination. A sensation of nostalgia permeates the picture, made all the more poignant by the charged quiescence that dominates the work. This, along with Lemieux’s pictorial treatment of distance between there and here, then and now, reveals to us the artist’s second metaphor, that of time "as it moves through the fluidity of space.”

Estimate: $125,000 - $175,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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