Lot # 035
Fall 2017 - 1st Session Live auction

William Kurelek
ARCA OC OSA 1927 - 1977 Canadian

Carolers Heading to Church
mixed media on board
initialed and dated 1975
12 x 8 3/4 in  30.5 x 22.2cm

Commissioned from the Artist
By descent to the present Private Collection, Saskatoon

William Kurelek, Kurelek’s Canada, 1975, page 112

William Kurelek’s finely detailed paintings of the traditional Christmas celebrations of his childhood provide a window on his youth and life on the Canadian prairies in a time when many immigrant communities were tightly knit groups dominated by one unifying faith. Hard-working people who often faced hardships, they celebrated the traditions of their European past and raised their families. Holidays and times of religious celebration were opportunities when these traditions could be emphasized, and the exaltation that came with them would reinforce their importance. Kurelek and his brother were sent to high school in Winnipeg, and while there, the pair attended Ukrainian night school. There, as he stated, “we became better acquainted with the beauty of Ukrainian carols” and went out caroling in groups at Christmas. In this magical starlit scene the carolers approach the church holding aloft the star of Bethlehem, a symbol of their faith. The joy radiating from the carolers also reflects how important faith was personally to Kurelek, whose connection to Catholicism later in life brought him great peace.
This work is in the original frame made by Kurelek.

Estimate: $40,000 ~ $60,000 CAD  
Sold for: $97,250 CAD (including Buyer's Premium)

All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

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