Spanning Canada's Vast Geographical Landscape, Heffel Fine Art Auction House Presents its Spring 2014 Collection of Masterworks

  • 137 lots of Canadian Art to be featured in the spring auction and, by conservative estimates, expected to achieve between $6M and $8M
  • Among the highlights: 33 spectacular works by members of the Group of Seven, including the important Lawren Harris painting Lake Superior Sketch LXI and A.Y. Jackson's rare canvas Mazinaw Lake, March, Bon Echo, four pieces by Jean Paul Riopelle and nine works by Emily Carr, including rare early illustrations
  • Previews to be held in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, in advance of the live auction in Vancouver on May 28

TORONTO, May 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Heffel Fine Art Auction House is thrilled to celebrate a new collection of Canadian art, with the presentation of its spring 2014 live auction taking place in Vancouver, BC on Wednesday, May 28. As the country's national auction house leader, Heffel will help guide enthusiasts and interested buyers through Canada's diverse artistic blueprint with this collection of masterworks.

"Our spring collection highlights Canada's beauty and diversity in its entirety, with a rich representation of artists and subjects spanning the country," explains David K.J. Heffel, President of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. "We are proud to have this important group of consignments, which offers a truly national depiction of Canada's artistic talent."

With more than $360 million in sales of Canadian art at auction to date, Heffel is undoubtedly Canada's national fine art auction house. Heffel's commitment to Canadian art has set the standard for a new way of viewing, as they are the first and only auction house in Canada to split historical and contemporary Canadian art into two separate sales and produce detailed catalogues for each session: Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art and Fine Canadian Art.

This season brings with it influential works illustrative of each of the country's major regions. Heffel's spring collection truly captures and spans the rich artistic fabric of Canada, ranging from Emily Carr's reflections on her native British Columbia, to William Kurelek's depictions of childhood on the Prairies, to classics by the world-famous Group of Seven - breathtakingly representative of the Canadian countryside - to Quebec City master Jean Paul Lemieux's portrayal of everyday Québécois life, and finally, the rich, colourful Maritimes-inspired paintings of David Blackwood.

West Coast Post-War & Contemporary and Fine Canadian Art highlights:

  • Known throughout Canada as one of British Columbia's strongest artistic voices, E.J. Hughes is noted for intense colouration and strength of composition. His six lots offered this season are led by Looking South Over Sooke Harbour, which depicts a striking view from the tip of Vancouver Island (est. $120,000 - 150,000).
  • A work by prominent and influential West Coast modernist B.C. Binning, Theme Painting No. 2, is offered in this spring auction. Typical of his modernist abstraction period, Binning's geometric shapes are vibrant, dynamic and slightly off-kilter, subtly retaining his sense of eccentricity (est. $30,000 - 50,000).
  • Proven to be the foundation of the Heffel business, Emily Carr shines with nine lots on offer this season. This past fall, Heffel set a world record for a Carr piece sold at auction with The Crazy Stair (The Crooked Staircase) at $3.39 million, bringing Heffel's total sales of Emily Carr works to over $37 million. The spring collection includes rare groups of early hand-drawn illustrations with accompanying poems and inscriptions from the family of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Clarke, Carr's publisher at the time. Also of note is Carr's Trees in a Swirling Sky, which wholly exemplifies her style during the latter part of her career when she became increasingly interested in depicting the energetic life of the forest (est. $200,000 - 250,000).

The Prairies Post-War & Contemporary and Fine Canadian Art highlights:

  • After major success in the fall auction, Heffel is delighted to offer five William Kurelek pieces this season. Indicative of his time growing up on the Prairies, Kurelek brings character and life to his paintings in Wind Singing in Telephone Wires (est. $30,000 - 40,000) and Solar Heating on the Prairies (est. $12,000 - 15,000).
  • Joe Fafard's skill as a sculptor is unparalleled - his work is finely detailed and full of movement. This year's collection features four lots by this Saskatchewan artist, including two of his classic bronze horses, Valen (est. $10,000 - 15,000) and Isabelle est. $15,000 - 20,000 and the iconic Boxer Table (est. $30,000 - 40,000) which has never been offered for sale at auction.
  • A rare inclusion in this year's collection is printmaker W.J. Phillips's Summer Idyll - his largest print ever produced. Known for his use of Lake of the Woods and Muskoka subjects, this beautiful scene features Phillips's daughter playing with butterflies by the lake (est. $20,000 - 30,000).

Ontario Post-War & Contemporary and Fine Canadian Art highlights:

  • Considered one of Canada's most acclaimed living artists, Michael Snow's Solar is a standout in the spring collection. This important work is from Snow's 1960s Walking Woman series, which initiated the extraordinary international reputation that he continues to augment today (est. $40,000 - 60,000).
  • Although it is rare for a Canadian artist to paint landscapes outside of the country, Realist painter Ken Danby beautifully depicts his wife in quiet reflection on a beach in Bali in his inspiring piece Kimono (from a Hong Kong collector). The large scale of the work immediately draws the viewer in and evokes an exquisite awareness of light, water and warm sand (est. $70,000 - 90,000).
  • With a highly anticipated exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada in the fall, Jack Bush will draw international interest with two works on the auction block this season. Temple, as seen on the back cover of Heffel's Post-War & Contemporary Art catalogue, is a quintessential Bush abstract and features striking colours and a strong sense of architecture (est. $125,000 - 175,000).
  • Featured on the cover of the Fine Canadian Art catalogue is Lawren Harris' compelling Lake Superior Sketch LXI (est. $500,000 - 700,000). Inspired by the vastness of Lake Superior itself and the rugged surrounding landscape, this work parallels Harris' record-breaking painting The Old Stump, which sold for more than $3.5 million at a Heffel auction in 2009.
  • A major draw for Group of Seven enthusiasts, A.Y. Jackson has thirteen lots on offer this season. Mazinaw Lake, March, Bon Echo is an exceedingly rare oil on canvas from Jackson's 1924 trip to snow-covered Bon Echo, which is still a destination for artists today. Until its consignment from the estate of James C. Wilson to Heffel, this work was known only from a photograph reproduced in the book Massonaga: The Art of Bon Echo (est. $125,000 - 175,000).
  • Kazuo Nakamura was a founding member of the influential Painters Eleven and known for his use of monochromatic colours. His first of two pieces in the spring auction is the abstract, yet systematic, Square Infinity. This delicate, museum-quality piece also has a sister painting hanging in the National Gallery of Canada (est. $30,000 - 50,000).
  • A.J. Casson, a late addition to the Group of Seven, was known for his love of Ontario's rural landscapes and villages. A quintessential Casson, Country House in Winter is both picturesque and inviting (est. $125,000 - 175,000).

Quebec Post-War & Contemporary and Fine Canadian Art highlights:

  • Two important works by Montreal native Jean Paul Lemieux are led by La Québécoise, in which he presents his interpretation of an archetypal Quebec woman (est. $250,000 - 350,000). The subject is shown from a profile view, similar to the figure in Lemieux's Nineteen Ten Remembered, which is among Heffel's top ten artists' records, after having earned an impressive $2.34 million in 2011.
  • The masterpieces of internationally acclaimed Jean Paul Riopelle have featured prominently in recent Heffel auctions, and this season boasts another strong collection with four works on offer. Featured on the cover of the Post-War & Contemporary Art catalogue, Riopelle's 1954 Pleine saison is a large, dynamic mosaic canvas and conservatively estimated at $400,000 - 600,000.
  • Arguably, the most interesting backstory this season comes from the eighth member of the Group of Seven, Edwin Holgate. Unaware of the painting's significance, the consignors of Holgate's oil on board Grand Manan, recently acquired the piece for two dollars at a garage sale, not far from where the artist owned a home in the 1940s (est. $15,000 - 20,000).

Atlantic Canada Post-War & Contemporary and Fine Canadian Art highlights:

  • David Blackwood's Ephraim Kelloway's June Door offers Canadian collectors a chance to own a piece from his highly revered Door series (est. $50,000 - 70,000). This rare opportunity comes on the heels of last fall's Heffel sale of Ephraim Kelloway's White Door, which sold for $105,300, more than doubling its pre-auction estimate and setting a record for the Newfoundland artist.
  • Alex Colville remains known for his realistic and intriguing depiction of animals, and Crow and Sheep is both thought-provoking and full of symbolism. Following the artist's recent passing in 2013, this Colville masterpiece is sure to resonate with collectors (est. $50,000 - 70,000).

While Heffel has become known for their peerless curating of Canadian masterworks, the auction house has simultaneously garnered a reputation as a trusted expert in the handling of significant family estates, and this season is no exception. The season's two impressive catalogues include important family collections from across the country, featuring a number of stunning Carr works from the family of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Clarke, Group of Seven paintings from the family of James C. Wilson and historically important works from a Winnipeg estate, along with additional private collections.

Heffel's Spring 2014 Live Auction Schedule
To give interested buyers from across Canada an opportunity to view these extraordinary works, the collection is being previewed in three cities leading-up to the live auction:

  • Montreal: Thursday, May 8 to Saturday, May 10 at Galerie Heffel Montreal, 1840 Sherbrooke Street West, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Toronto: Thursday, May 15 to Saturday, May 17 at Heffel Gallery Toronto, 13 Hazelton Avenue, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Vancouver: Saturday, May 24 to Tuesday, May 27, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Wednesday, May 28, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. at Heffel Gallery Vancouver, 2247 Granville Street

The two-part live auction will take place in Vancouver on Wednesday, May 28 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West, Burrard Entrance, Room 211 (1055 Canada Place).

  • 4 p.m. - Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art
  • 7 p.m. - Fine Canadian Art

For more details on the previews and live auction, and to access the online catalogues, please visit

About Heffel Fine Art Auction House 
A Canadian-owned and family-run business, Heffel has sold more Canadian art than any other auctioneer worldwide, with over $360 million in art auction sales since 1995, and has conducted the most valuable live auctions of Canadian art. 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, from initial promotion and illustrated lot listings, to the auction's live multi-camera webcast and final sale results.

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Image with caption: "Among the highlights in Heffel's spring collection are important works by the Group of Seven, including Lawren Harris' compelling Lake Superior Sketch LXI (est. $500,000 - 700,000). (CNW Group/Heffel Fine Art Auction House)". Image available at:

SOURCE: Heffel Fine Art Auction House

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Rebecca Rykiss
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David Heffel / Robert Heffel

Heffel Fine Art Auction House
604-418-6505 / 604-418-0100 /


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