LOT 025

1927 - 1977

The Cat and the Crow
mixed media on board
initialed and dated 1968 and on verso titled and dated
23 1/4 x 19 1/4 in, 59.1 x 48.9 cm

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000 CAD

Sold for: $85,250

Preview at:

The Isaacs Gallery Ltd., Toronto
Private Collection
A gift to the present Private Collection, Toronto

William Kurelek and Joan Murray, Kurelek’s Vision of Canada, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 1983, page 10

William Kurelek was born in Whitford, Alberta, the son of Ukrainian immigrant farmers. When Kurelek was seven, his family moved to Stonewall, Manitoba, where they operated a dairy farm, and the artist’s childhood experiences there form an important part of his oeuvre. Kurelek’s father was known as a spell-binding raconteur, and Joan Murray wrote that “Kurelek dreamed that he himself would someday be such a storyteller.”

Animals, both domestic and wild, were part of everyday life on the farm, and they often appeared in Kurelek’s narratives, such as swallows mithering a cat or a farm dog chasing a rabbit, all the product of the artist’s first-hand observations. Although such scenes were amusing, Kurelek was aware of the realities of the animals’ situation. “Working” farm cats, for instance, lived in the barn; only a favoured few saw the inside of the farmhouse. Animals had their own lives and dramas—and interspecies enmities.

Kurelek’s works are finely detailed, and here each element in the snowy field is carefully placed. The line of bare trees and the cross form of the telephone pole interrupt the far vista of the prairie, concentrating our attention on the protagonists in the foreground—the crow cawing on the roof, the boy flinging a snowball towards it, and the cat eating from a bowl of food, from which bones protrude. The Cat and the Crow implies a fascinating story that we can enjoy speculating about.

This work is in the original frame made by the artist.

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business. Bidders must ensure they have satisfied themselves with the condition of the Lot prior to bidding. Condition reports are available upon request.