Internationally renowned artists highlight Heffel's spring 2017 live auction

  • Canada's art market leader will offer more than 120 museum-quality works of art
    at a live auction in Toronto on May 24, expected to achieve $10M to $14M
  • Internationally renowned painter Jean Paul Riopelle leads the sale by estimate
    with the masterpiece canvas Vent du nord, estimated at $1M to $1.5M
  • Group of Seven founder Lawren Harris is featured with six works, including
    an abstract canvas and several important Rocky Mountain works

TORONTO, May 2, 2017 /CNW/ - Art market leader Heffel Fine Art Auction House is delighted to offer more than 120 museum-quality masterpieces at its highly anticipated spring live auction. The sale will take place at the historic Design Exchange in Toronto on May 24, 2017, and will be presented in two sessions: Post-War & Contemporary Art and Fine Canadian Art. Expected to achieve between $10 million and $14 million, the auction will continue the momentum of Heffel's record-breaking sales and demonstrate the strength of the art market. (All prices are in Canadian dollars and according to conservative estimates.)

Increased appreciation among international buyers for important Canadian works of art can largely be credited to recent exhibitions travelling to world-renowned art institutions. Works by both Lawren Harris and Emily Carr received glowing reviews associated with recent exhibitions outside of Canada, and David Milne and Jean Paul Riopelle too have major forthcoming exhibitions. Works by these artists are among the highlights in Heffel's spring sale and will undoubtedly generate collector interest from across the world. Additionally, Canadian collectors are eager for a broad range of contemporary artwork from beyond Canadian borders. The Post-War & Contemporary Art catalogue includes international star artists such as Andy Warhol, Barbara Hepworth and A.R. Penck.

"Heffel is proud to offer works by so many globally renowned artists this season on the Toronto auction floor," said David Heffel, President of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. "Working strategically with the broader arts community, we're seeing an incredible opportunity for Canada, and Toronto specifically, to emerge as one of the world's major art centres."

The May event marks a milestone for Heffel as it is the first time the spring auction will be held in Toronto. Historically, the spring sale was in Vancouver and the fall sale in Toronto. Significant entities and events, including the Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto Stock Exchange and Art Toronto, Canada's international fair for modern and contemporary art, make the city one of the major centres for art, culture and finance globally.

Highlights from the Heffel Spring 2017 Live Auction

  • Internationally collected School of Paris artist Jean Paul Riopelle leads the spring auction with the exceptional 1950s canvas Vent du nord (est. $1,000,000 – 1,500,000). The Quebec-born Abstract Expressionist is featured with six works total, including three other impressive canvases.
  • After a record-shattering year for Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris, six outstanding examples of his work make their way to the auction block. Fresh to the market are Lynx Mountain, Mt. Robson District, BC / Mountain Sketch XLI and Yoho Valley and Isolation Peak / Mountain Sketch XLV, each estimated at $600,000 to $800,000.
  • Lawren Harris's vibrant LSH 89B canvas is a contemporary masterpiece and a market rarity (est. $200,000 – 300,000). This refined 1930s work is from an important period in the artist's career, the focus of a current exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
  • In Heffel's history, no other work has come to market with more exhibition history and literature references than A.Y. Jackson's The Winter Road. This remarkably important canvas has travelled to exhibitions around the world and comes from the prestigious collection of the Family of Charles S. Band (est. $300,000 – 500,000).
  • Two works by William Kurelek beautifully depict different scenes of Canadian working life. Construction at Bay and Bloor shows a construction site in the heart of Toronto (est. $250,000 – 350,000), and Frozen Jack Rabbits illustrates a view of prairie life (est. $250,000 – 350,000).
  • With an exhibition on the horizon at London's Dulwich Picture Gallery, David Milne's outstanding City Rain from his New York period is sure to resonate with international collectors (est. $275,000 – 325,000).
  • Standout lots from members of the Painters Eleven include three works by Jack Bush and William Ronald's Gypsy (est. $60,000 – 80,000), which represented the important exhibition Toronto Painting: 1953 1965 on the cover of the show's catalogue.
  • Quebec masters, including Paul-Émile Borduas, Jean Paul Lemieux and Guido Molinari, are featured prominently. Consignor proceeds from Molinari's commanding Sériel bleu-vert athématique will benefit the Guido Molinari Foundation (est. $90,000 – 120,000).
  • Celebrated artists from beyond our borders, including Barbara Hepworth, Eric Fischl and A.R. Penck, highlight the Post-War & Contemporary Art session. Pop Art icon Andy Warhol is also featured, with a one-off test proof of his portrait of the Canadian-born prima ballerina, Karen Kain (est. $30,000 – 40,000).
  • One of Canada's most significant national art collectives, the Group of Seven is well represented in the spring auction. Works by all of the original members are featured, including a historically significant paper work by Frederick Varley (est. $60,000 – 80,000) and a major canvas by Franklin Carmichael, extremely rare to the market (est. $300,000 – 500,000).

Spring 2017 Live Auction Schedule
To give interested buyers from across Canada an opportunity to view these works, the collection will be previewed in three cities leading up to the live auction:

  • Vancouver: Saturday, April 29 to Tuesday, May 2, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Heffel Gallery, 2247 Granville Street
  • Montreal: Thursday, May 11 to Saturday, May 13, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Galerie Heffel, 1840 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
  • Toronto: Saturday, May 20 to Tuesday, May 23, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Wednesday, May 24, 10 a.m. – noon, Design Exchange, Exhibition Hall, 234 Bay Street

The two-session live auction will take place on Wednesday, May 24 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—Fine Canadian Art

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

About Heffel Fine Art Auction House
Heffel has sold more Canadian art than any other auctioneer worldwide, with sales totalling 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.

SOURCE Heffel Fine Art Auction House

For further information: to schedule an interview or media viewing, or for high-resolution images, please contact: Sonia Prashar, spPR Inc.,, 416-560-6753


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