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LOT 001

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

Two Ships Standing Off
oil on board, circa 1948
signed and on verso signed and titled
14 x 7 1/8 in 35.6 x 18.1 cm

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

Sold for: $64,350

Preview at: Heffel Vancouver

Kenneth G. Heffel Fine Art Inc., Vancouver
Private Collection, British Columbia

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

A pioneer West Coast modernist, B.C. Binning was head of the Fine Arts Department at the University of British Columbia, an architect, an internationally recognized artist and an important cultural catalyst in the Vancouver art scene. From the late 1940s into the 1950s, Binning painted semi-abstract nautical themes. The tall standing vessel in Two Ships Standing Off is an iconic image used in works such as the well-known 1948 oil Ships in a Classical Calm, in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. This important motif was derived from a pivotal experience Binning had during an excursion into Indian Arm just after the Second World War, where he saw a group of World War II ships tied up in a cove, and became fascinated with the image of the hulls towering above him. He recounted, “There is something about a ship viewed – especially bow on – that has a regalness about it and the great shapes, to me, were terrifically impressive.” Binning often included colourful nautical details, and the pennants, rigging and navigation wheel add a lyrical note to the elegance and formal strength of this modernist work.

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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