LOT 056

Oscar Cahén
1916 - 1956

Untitled (Bird Series)
mixed media on card
signed and dated 1954 and on verso titled on the label, inscribed "#14" and "FAG-366" and certified by The Cahén Archives inventory #FAMM-366 SL
27 1/2 x 43 1/2 in 69.8 x 110.5 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000

Preview at: Heffel Montreal

Galerie Samuel Lallouz, Montreal
Private Collection, Montreal

An important event in the career of Oscar Cahén was The Art Gallery of Toronto's 1950 exhibition, Contemporary Art: Great Britain, the United States, France, which exposed his work to international artists – most importantly, Graham Sutherland. Cahén’s admiration and appreciation of the work in this exhibition led him to definitive graphic lines and abstracted imagery, as seen in this 1954 work. This piece features familiar imagery for Cahén – the jagged talons and beaks of the bird, abstracted growth and crescent shapes. It was during the early 1950s that he experimented with diverse mediums, and this work is a fine example of his proficiency in such varied materials; his skills as a professional illustrator readily shine through. He found inspiration in the natural world but abstracted the features to create an otherworldly, almost Surrealist image. Notably, the work contains strong form and tension, two qualities that are found in his most celebrated works. Such artistic strengths, among many others, made him a critical member of Painters Eleven. The importance of his leadership role – although cut short by his tragic death in 1956 – cannot be overstated.

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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