Heffel’s Fall 2011 Auction

Live Auction: Thursday, November 24, 2011
4 Avenue Road
4:00 p.m. EST, Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art
7:00 p.m. EST, Fine Canadian Art

David K. J. Heffel, president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House

AUCTION BREAKS WORLD RECORD FOR A CANADIAN CONTEMPORARY PAINTING, TOTAL SALES REACH $16.73 MILLION – Heffel’s Fall 2011 Auction is now the fifth highest grossing live auction.

The Canadian post-war and contemporary art session, which commenced at 4 p.m. EST, had sales totalling $6.95 million, making it the second highest post-war and contemporary Canadian sale ever conducted by Heffel. The fine Canadian art session began at 7 p.m. EST and had a sales total of $9.6 million.

November 24, 2011, opened the Heffel Fine Art Auction House Fall 2011 Canadian Auction season with a record-shattering sale of masterworks from prominent estates, placing it within the top 10 grossing auctions of Canadian art of all time. The auction, held in Toronto, attracted more than 400 attendees and resulted in $16.73 million in total sales (all prices are in Canadian dollars and include a 17 per cent buyer’s premium) and is now the fifth highest grossing live auction in Canadian history. Of the 190 lots, three sold for more than $1 million dollars and more than 30 works sold for more than $100,000.

David K. J. Heffel, president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House auctions off Jean Paul Lemieux’s Nineteen Ten Remembered.


Jean Paul Lemieux’s Nineteen Ten sold for $2.34 million, breaking the international auction record for a Canadian post-war and contemporary work. The record was previously set by Jean-Paul Riopelle (sold in May 2008 in NYC for CDN $1.89M), and this sale crowns Lemieux as the new reigning champion of post-war and contemporary Canadian art. In May 2011, Heffel sold another major work by Jean Paul Lemieux ushering him into the rarefied group of “million-dollar” Canadian artists, explains David K. J. Heffel, President and Auctioneer. “Tonight he becomes the first-ever contemporary Canadian artist to be crowned a two-million-dollar man.”

Jean Paul Lemieux, Nineteen Ten, oil on canvas, 42 x 57 1/2in

Lawren Stewart Harris’s Rocky Mountain Sketch CXXI (Mount Robson) was estimated to sell for $300,000~$500,000. After an intense bidding war, the notable piece exceeded the estimate, selling for $1.81 million. This was one of two works for which the consignee generously agreed to donate proceeds to Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital.

Lawren Stewart Harris’s Rocky Mountain Sketch CXXI (Mount Robson), circa 1929, oil on board, 12 x 15 in

Along with Harris, the auction also featured pieces by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, who are all enjoying renewed international interest given the current UK exhibit at London’s Dulwich Gallery.

William Kurelek’s Return to Camp in Winter sold for more than double the estimate at $210,600 (estimate was $60,000 ~ $80,000). There is currently a large exhibit of his work at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Emily Carr’s War Canoe, Alert Bay sold for $1.22 million, breaking the record for most valuable Canadian watercolour sold at auction.

Emily Carr,  War Canoe, Alert Bay, 1908, watercolour on paper, 10 5/8 x 15 in,

The François Dupré Collection, among the most significant private collections of Canadian impressionism to ever be auctioned, was conservatively estimated to yield between $1 million and $1.5 million. These works were of particular interest as they had been hidden away in a bank vault for nearly 25 years. The collection surpassed estimates, selling for $2.27 million in the end, more than twice the low estimate. Highlights of this collection included Gagnon’s Environs de Baie-Saint-Paul ($315,900) Maurice Galbraith Cullen’s Lower Town, Quebec ($280,800), J. W. Morrice’s Régates à Saint-Malo ($526,500) and M. A. Suzor-Coté’s Winter Sunglow: Arthabaska ($269,100).

“From works found lying in barn to hidden treasures that have been unseen for more than 20 years, many of the paintings consigned to us for this sale carry a fascinating past and are just outstanding,” said Mr. Heffel. “The resulting sales are a testament to the quality of works we were offering and we are very pleased with the results.”

Other highlights:

Jack Hamilton Bush’s Sing, Sing, Sing – New Record: $234,000

Jack Hamilton Bush:  Sing, Sing, Sing, 1974 acrylic on canvas, 68 x 114 3/4 in

Michael Snow’s Sideway – New Record: $175,500

Anne Douglas Savage’s Paradise Lost – New Record: $64,350

Robert Davidson’s Copper with Eagle Design – New Record: $52,650

Kathleen Frances’s Daly Pepper Catskill Mountains – New Record: $40,950

Adrien Hébert’s Stevedores Unloading a Ship, Montreal Harbour – New Record: $40,950

Lise Gervais’ Les sentinelles – New Record: $38,025

Lise Gervais, Les sentinelles, 1964, oil on canvas, 48 1/4 x 60 1/4 in,

Kent Monkman’s Miss Chief: The Emergence of a Legend – New Record: $10,530

David K. J. Heffel, president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House auctions off Paul-Émile Borduas

About Heffel Fine Art Auction House: Heffel has sold more Canadian art than any other auctioneer worldwide, with over $275 million in art auction sales since 1995, and has conducted the most valuable live auctions of Canadian art.  Heffel is led by the most experienced team of fine art specialists in Canada. With offices and representatives in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary, Heffel provides superior client services to both sellers and buyers nationwide.  In addition to full-colour printed catalogues, Heffel publishes its entire live auction online at www.heffel.com <http://www.heffel.com/>, from initial promotion and illustrated lot listings, to the auction’s live multi-camera webcast.

Text by Maricel Dicion

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