Canadian Art Attracts International Attention as Heffel Unveils Spring Live Auction

  • A total of 145 lots of Canadian art will be offered in the spring live auction and are expected to achieve between $7M and $10M
  • Among the highlights: works by Lawren Harris and Emily Carr, both currently in the global art spotlight, as well as Tom Thomson and all original members of the Group of Seven
  • Quintessential B.C. Binning abstract found at a garage sale
  • Property from the Museum of Modern Art in New York will be sold to benefit its acquisitions fund

TORONTO, April 27, 2015 /CNW/ - Heffel, the leader in Canadian art at auction, is proud to announce its spring 2015 collection, boasting a vast representation of Canadian artistic excellence. The 145 lots will be presented at a live auction on May 27, 2015 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The group is expected to achieve between $7 million and $10 million (according to conservative estimates) and the sale will undoubtedly receive both national and international attention.

The spring 2015 live auction is highlighted by masterworks from renowned Canadian artists who have received recent worldwide acclaim. Following its celebrated exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, England, "Emily Carr: From the Forest to the Sea" has moved to its current home at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Relatively unknown outside of Canada prior to the exhibition, Emily Carr's work has received glowing reviews from some of the most important art critics globally. Carr, whose work has seen overwhelming success at auction, including the record-breaking $3.4 million sale of The Crazy Stair (The Crooked Staircase) by Heffel in 2013, is featured in this season's catalogues with seven works on the auction block. 

Heffel is also proud to offer four lots by internationally recognized Canadian painter, Lawren Harris. The fall of 2015 will see a highly anticipated show dedicated to this leading Group of Seven artist at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, an institution known for its cultural relevance and progressive exhibitions.

"It is certainly an exciting time to be a part of the Canadian art market. Important national figures like Lawren Harris and Emily Carr are gaining deserved momentum and global recognition and we're humbled to be a part of that," explains David K.J. Heffel, President of Heffel. "Season after season we are proud to offer works by such talented artists, but this year we are thrilled that there is a heightened sense of admiration for Canadian art internationally."

Heffel was the first, and remains the only auction house to produce separate detailed catalogues for each of its two sessions; Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art and Fine Canadian Art.

Heffel's Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art highlights include:

  • Sure to captivate collectors is Jean McEwan's Ochre Cell, largely due to its prestigious provenance. The painting is property of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and is being sold to benefit the museum's acquisitions fund. Heffel is honoured to have been chosen by MoMA to offer this work in the spring catalogue (est. $60,000 - 80,000).
  • On the heels of his retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, two important Jack Bush pieces will be presented in the spring auction. Adding significance to the lot on offer, the exhibition catalogue features a rare photograph of the artist painting the canvas, Red Loop Low (est. $250,000 - 350,000).
  • Featured on the cover of the Post-War & Contemporary Art catalogue is Gregory Curnoe's Funny Bicycle. The full-sized mixed media bicycle sculpture stands out even in Curnoe's impressive body of work, as it incorporates the frame of a real bike with vibrant painted wooden circles as wheels (est. $75,000 - 95,000).
  • Important Quebec artist and founder of the Automatists, Paul-Émile Borduas has three major works on the auction block. Two pieces by the artist are leading lots this season; Chant d'ete (est. $400,000 - 500,000) and Tendresse des gris (est. $300,000 - 400,000).
  • A remarkable Cinderella story comes with the B.C. Binning lot titled Painted Structure in Space. The oil painting was purchased by the consignors at a garage sale in a box of artwork, and is a dazzling example of Binning's nautical abstractions (est. $10,000 - 15,000).
  • Paintings by Jean Paul Riopelle have reached record-setting heights in recent Heffel auctions. His dynamic 1957 oil on canvas, La forêt enchantée features brushstrokes characteristic of Riopelle's most highly sought after 1950s works (est. $150,000 - 250,000).
  • Two of four Jean Paul Lemieux works on offer this season are from his most significant period in the 1960s. The first is La visite, an oil on canvas featuring two figures in a deep embrace (est. $250,000 - 350,000) and the second, L'émigré, a portrait of a young man with a subtly depicted cityscape balancing out the second half of the composition (est. $125,000 - 175,000).

Heffel's Fine Canadian Art highlights include:

  • The spring season's catalogues boast an impressive representation of all original members of the Group of Seven, as well as Tom Thomson, who mysteriously died just prior to the group's official formation in 1920. Thomson's Woods in Winter is offered in the live auction (est. $250,000 - 350,000).
  • Emily Carr, currently shining in the global art spotlight and on view at the AGO, stars in yet another Heffel sale with seven works on offer. Leading the auction is Forest Light, a mature period Carr canvas not available for sale since its original acquisition from the artist in 1937 by philanthropist, J.S. McLean (est. $400,000 - 600,000).
  • Group of Seven artist, Lawren Harris, features in this auction with four works. Especially poignant due to his upcoming exhibition at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the lots span Harris' transformative artistic life, which began as a powerful painter of Canadian landscapes and then evolved into abstraction.
  • A.Y. Jackson features prominently in this sale with nine lots on offer, including stunning landscapes that capture the rawness and wildness of the Canadian outdoors. The paintings depict scenes from Alberta, Ontario, Alaska, and Jackson's home province of Quebec.
  • Print collectors will be delighted as this season's sale includes arguably the best examples of work from Canada's most revered printmakers. Sybil Andrews' dynamic linocut, Speedway (est. $60,000 - 80,000) is featured on the cover of Steven Coppel's book, Linocuts of the Machine Age: Claude Flight and the Grosvenor School and W.J. Phillips shines with his three most collected woodcuts, York Boat on Lake Winnipeg (est. $15,000 - 20,000), Karlukwees, BC (est. $30,000 - 40,000) and Mamalilicoola, BC (est. $20,000 - 30,000).

Heffel's Spring 2015 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 7 to Saturday, May 9 at Galerie Heffel Montreal, 1840 Sherbrooke Street West, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Toronto: Thursday, May 14 to Saturday, May 16 at Heffel Gallery Toronto, 13 and 15 Hazelton Avenue, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Vancouver: Saturday, May 23 to Tuesday, May 26, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Wednesday, May 27, 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 27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West, Burrard Entrance, Room 211 (1055 Canada Place).

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

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

About Heffel

Heffel has sold more Canadian art than any other auctioneer worldwide, approaching half a billion dollars in art sales since 1978. With offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Calgary, Heffel has the most experienced team of fine art specialists in Canada and provides superior client service to both sellers and buyers internationally.

Twitter and Instagram: @HeffelAuction 
YouTube: HeffelAuction

SOURCE Heffel Fine Art Auction House

Image with caption: "A highlight in Heffel's spring live auction is Emily Carr's canvas, Forest Light, featured on the cover of the Fine Canadian Art catalogue (est. $400,000 - 600,000). (CNW Group/Heffel Gallery Limited)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Gregory Curnoe's rare full-sized sculpture, Funny Bicycle, stands out in Heffel's spring live auction and is the cover lot for the Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art catalogue (est. $75,000 - 95,000). (CNW Group/Heffel Gallery Limited)". Image available at:

For further information: Media Contact: For additional information, to schedule an interview or media viewing, or for high-resolution images, please contact: Rebecca Rykiss, 416-961-6505 / 647-338-6707,; David Heffel / Robert Heffel, 604-418-6505 / 604-418-0100, /

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