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1957 masterpiece by Paul-Emile Borduas smashes expectations, fetching $660,800
Tom Thomson, River Scene. Price Realized $ 42,480.

TORONTO.- Strong bidding led to banner prices for rare and newly-discovered works of art from some of the country’s most renowned artists during the Joyner Waddington’s Fall Auction of Important Canadian Art, taking place on Monday night in Toronto.

Highlighting the Post-War and Contemporary Canadian offerings in the fall auction, Chatterie, a 1957 abstract painting by Paul-Emile Borduas, fetched an impressive $660,800 after feverish bidding both on the telephone and in the room. Easily reaching four times its presale estimate of $150,000-200,000, this masterwork holds a firm place within Canada’s vibrant post-war and contemporary art history. The canvas missed setting a new auction record for Borduas by less than $3,000, the record set in May for a painting more than twice the size as Chatterie. During the summer of 1957, American art dealer Martha Jackson had purchased three striking canvases from Borduas, the painter living in Paris, France. One of the three is now part of the permanent collection of Art Gallery of Ontario, the second remains in a private collection and Chatterie was recorded to have been sold by Jackson to well-known Toronto art dealer, Blair Laing, in 1960. The whereabouts following Laing’s purchase were published as “unknown” in volumes detailing Borduas’ life and work. The Joyner Waddington’s Fall Auction marked Chatterie’s marvelous return to public view after more than fifty years.

Joyner Senior Art Specialist, Lydia Abbott, notes of the sale of Chatterie: “ We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to offer this remarkable painting at auction. It is a Canadian art treasure that displays the immense skill of one of our country’s most celebrated painters while underscoring the importance of this avant-garde artwork on the international art scene of the late fifties.”

A captivating canvas by celebrated Painter’s Eleven member William Ronald entitled Memories New York, 1959, realized a price of $59,000 during the evening sale. The large, vibrant canvas, splattered and dripped with paint, reveals Ronald’s dialogue with Jackson Pollock’s artworks which he encountered during his residency in New York City. A mesmerizing work by William Kurelek entitled Yukon Trappers’ Stop depicting a Yukon trapper treading through deep snow beneath an impressive sky filled with the northern lights, fetched $82,600, surpassing its presale estimates of $60,000-80,000. This continues Joyner’s long tradition of selling artworks by William Kurelek to advantage.

River Scene, a rare, small oil on glass painting by Tom Thomson is one of the earliest works by the artist to have ever appear at auction. After energetic bidding, this gem measuring only three by three inches found a home for $42,480, almost tripling its presale estimate. Believed to have been completed as early as 1906, River Scene was executed by the artist while he was a student at the Central Ontario School of Art and Industrial Design in Toronto. River Scene is the only known instance of Tom Thomson having employed glass as a medium for his work, the luminous and colourful landscape essentially glowing when light passes through it.

A charming 1920s oil painting by Quebec artist Marc-Aurele Fortin depicting one of the artist’s favourite subjects, Maison Tessier (or “Tessier House”) in the Saguenay region of Quebec, was a favourite in the auction previews and a favourite in the auction room on Monday night. This eighteen by twenty-six inches oil on board saw feverish bidding and after several minutes, fetched a final price of $76,700, more than doubling its presale auction estimate.

Other highlights of Joyner’s historical art offerings included a rare large format 1889 oil painting by Frederick Arthur Verner entitled Indians Paddling West Coast Canoes. With the water and mountains of British Columbia creating a magnificent backdrop for three canoes with figures emerging from the haze, this remarkable work fetched a final price $70,800. All three small oil on panel artworks by Clarence Gagnon depicting Quebec villages in winter and dating to the 1920s surpassed their presale estimates, each selling for over for over $30,000.

An online session of Canadian Art is currently open, with bidding continuing until Thursday, November 29th at 2pm EST.

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