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LOT 009

William Kurelek
ARCA OC OSA
1927 - 1977
Canadian

Friends Only in This Life
mixed media on board
initialed, titled and dated 1968 and on verso titled and dated and inscribed "William Kurelek" on a label
10 1/4 x 20 in 26 x 50.8 cm

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Loch Mayberry Fine Art Inc., Winnipeg
Sold sale of Fine Canadian Art, Maynards, June 2, 1998, lot 48
Private Collection, Vancouver

LITERATURE
Patricia Morley, Kurelek: A Biography, 1986, page 177


Religious scenes and parables constituted an important part of William Kurelek’s oeuvre. He left the Orthodox faith of his prairie Ukrainian family behind and converted to Roman Catholicism in 1957, and he was devout. In the 1960s he was working in Toronto, and his rapid rise to success as an artist convinced him, according to biographer Patricia Morley, “that he was God’s instrument, that God was calling him” to teach people through his art. Friends Only in This Life is a parable. The two men engage in a push-pull on either side of the boundary – the one on the green field pointing his finger upwards, perhaps invocating a higher power—and the scene seems to indicate the struggle between the negative and positive sides of man’s nature. The title, seen in a piece of paper lying on the field, suggests separate fates for the two friends in the afterlife. In the sky hangs the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a symbol of Christ’s boundless love for all humanity and capacity for mercy. Kurelek’s meticulous attention to detail and his use of strong light and rich colour add to the impact of this powerful work.


Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars


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