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LOT 051

William Kurelek
1927 - 1977

Immigrants Crossing the Atlantic
mixed media on board
initialed and dated 1966 and on verso titled and titled as Crossing the Atlantic and dated 1967 on the Isaacs Gallery label
11 x 25 in 27.9 x 63.5 cm

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

Sold for: $13,750

Preview at:

The Isaacs Gallery Ltd., Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto
Sold sale of Fine Canadian Art, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, May 22, 2008, lot 140
Private Collection, Calgary
A.K. Prakash & Associates, Toronto
Private Collection, Ontario

William Kurelek came from a Ukrainian farming family on the Prairies - his father had emigrated from the village of Boriwtsi in the Ukraine, sailing to Canada via the British-owned Cunard Steamship Line in 1923. These voyages were fraught with dangers from open ocean storms, and people were jammed together in circumstances that were uncomfortable. Nevertheless, the prospect of escaping life in the Ukraine, plagued by war and privation, for a new life in Canada was an optimistic one. Kurelek was deeply sympathetic to the story of immigrants such as the Irish and his Ukrainian people, who came here with little and worked hard to support their families and build our country. In this evocative image, Kurelek depicts a mother and child, wrapped in a blanket against the cold, like a madonna and child. Dark and light contrasts are dramatic – sea foam glitters on the crests of waves and pools of golden light spill from the interior into the night, illuminating people near them. It is a poignant image, with the mother and child the still and hopeful heart of this storm-tossed scene.

This work is in the original frame made by Kurelek.

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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