TORONTO, May 24, 2018 /CNW/ - As auction season continues to reach impressive heights around the world, market leader Heffel Fine Art Auction House celebrates its upcoming spring sale with an exciting marketing campaign – a first for auction houses in Canada. Created by BAFTA award-winning studio Alchemy VR, Heffel has launched a virtual reality experience that allows viewers to see the star lot in its May 30 auction, Paul-Émile Borduas' monumental Figures Schématiques.
Leading the May auction by estimate, the 1956 canvas Figures Schématiques, is from Borduas' sought-after Black and White period. Commanding in scale, the rare masterpiece is estimated to achieve between $3 million and $5 million. (All prices are in Canadian dollars and are conservative estimates.)
With Heffel's demographic of international collectors in mind, the objective is to provide art admirers buyers with a unique opportunity to see and experience the outstanding work prior to the live auction. In the five-minute experience, the viewer enters an immersive virtual gallery space and feels as though they are standing in front of the iconic artwork. The viewer then explores the details of the painting and learns of its history, and about the renowned artist.
The film has been translated into seven languages to reach enthusiasts in many parts of the world – English, French, Arabic, German, Russian, Mandarin and Japanese – and was sent by mail to select collectors in customized packaging. Passionate collectors not attending the auction in person will have the opportunity to bid on the painting via telephone or absentee bid.
"We are thrilled to be able to connect with international collectors and enthusiasts through this virtual reality experience," says David Heffel, President of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. "Paul-Émile Borduas' Figures schématiques presents a once-in-a-lifetime market opportunity, and this VR channel will enable a truly international audience to discover and enjoy Borduas' monumental canvas."
Anthony Geffen, CEO and Creative Director at Alchemy VR says, "It has been a great pleasure to be able to bring not only this iconic painting, but the backstory of Borduas and an incredible group of artists to life, through the power of virtual reality. It showcases one of the many applications this innovative technology can have for the art world, enabling people around the world to experience this exquisite painting."
The first auction house in Canada to employ virtual reality technology for the sale of a painting, Heffel is excited about this new channel, and will continue to develop this area of its business and utilize this advanced technology in order to cater to its global client base.
Preview and Live Auction Details
To give collectors an opportunity to view this masterpiece in person and view the virtual reality experience, a cross-Canada preview of the entire live auction collection will culminate in Toronto prior to the live auction.
- Saturday, May 26 to Tuesday, May 29, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Wednesday, May 30, 10 a.m. – noon
- Design Exchange, Exhibition Hall, 234 Bay Street
The two-session live auction will take place on Wednesday, May 30 at Design Exchange (The Historic Trading Floor, 234 Bay Street, Toronto):
- 4:00 p.m. EST — Post-War & Contemporary Art
- 7:00 p.m. EST — Canadian, Impressionist & Modern Art
The auction will also be live streamed on Heffel.com.
To access the virtual reality experience, or for details on the live auction, please visit www.heffel.com.
About Heffel Fine Art Auction House
Heffel has sold more Canadian art than any other auctioneer worldwide, with sales totaling more than half a billion dollars 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.
About Alchemy VR
BAFTA award winning Alchemy VR builds on the world class story-telling and technical innovation of Atlantic Productions to create some of the most compelling immersive experiences in the world. Alchemy's combination of storytelling and pioneering use of new technologies has created unique and breath-taking experiences including David Attenborough's Great Barrier Reef Dive VR, Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon and Space Descent VR with Tim Peake for the Science Museum Group.
Alchemy VR's experiences have won many prestigious awards including the first ever BAFTA awarded to a virtual reality film, the Museum and Heritage award for Innovation and the Audience Award at Sheffield Documentary Film Festival. Alchemy's work has been exhibited in some of the world's most prestigious cultural institutions including the Natural History Museum in London and the Australian Museum in Sydney, and were some of the first non-gaming experiences to launch on the Sony PlayStation VR platform.
About Atlantic Productions
Atlantic Productions leads a group of companies which make television programmes, theatrical and IMAX films, visual effects, apps, online interactive platforms and immersive virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. Since the company was founded in 1992 Atlantic has built a reputation for world-class story-telling, enhanced by the latest techniques and technologies, including the building of pioneering cross-platform and digital experiences. Atlantic is a leader in 4K and 3D productions.
Atlantic has won many of the most prestigious awards in television, including the coveted BAFTA award for best specialist factual twice, 11 Emmy awards, two RTS awards and the best 3D award at Jackson Hole and Wildscreen. Atlantic's foray into multi-platform has seen them win the prestigious Best Interactive Media award at Jackson Hole twice.
Their diverse output includes 11 projects with David Attenborough including the award winning David Attenborough's Great Barrier Reef (BBC). Acclaimed series also include Inside the Commons (BBC) and Time Scanners (NatGeo) and Galapagos (BBC). Their most recent TV specials include the critically acclaimed Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees (BBC) and internationally renowned The Coronation (BBC/Smithsonian/ABC)
SOURCE Heffel Fine Art Auction House
For further information: For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact: Rebecca Rykiss, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, [email protected], 416-961-6505; Helen Green, Atlantic Productions Limited, [email protected], +44 (0) 20 8735 9329