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LOT 006

Bertram Charles (B.C.) Binning
1909 - 1976

Shapes in Tension
oil on board
signed and on verso signed, titled, dated 1950 and inscribed "2968 Mathers Cr., West Vancouver – Canada" on the artist's label
8 x 18 in 20.3 x 45.7 cm

Estimate: $12,000 - $16,000

Sold for: $35,100

Preview at: Heffel Vancouver

Private Collection, California

Doreen E. Walker, B.C. Binning, A Classical Spirit, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1986, unpaginated

In 1949, B.C. Binning was appointed Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at the University of British Columbia. His profession honed his awareness of line, geometry and spatiality. In 1950 Binning was working with both abstracted marine images and pure abstraction, such as this vibrant work in which two-dimensional geometric shapes in bright primary colours oscillate against a background of swipes of black and white. Shapes in Tension is a carefully thought-out composition, yet it contains an element of playfulness in the relationships of the shapes as they hover in the spatial plane. Insight into this dichotomy in his work was revealed by Binning’s comment when he stated, “I think my work plays between two sides of me: there is a certain joy and fun – perhaps even wit – but this seems to vacillate every now and then between another extreme of plain coolness – which I call a classic sense.” Shapes in Tension, from Binning’s pivotal 1950s period, is a fine example of Binning’s modernist aesthetic of formalism enlivened by a joyous sense of play.

Estimate: $12,000 - $16,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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