Lawren Har­ris trio fetches $9.5M at auc­tion

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - ARTS & LIFE -

TORONTO — Three paint­ings by Group of Seven artist Lawren Har­ris shat­tered pre-sale es­ti­mates and sold for $9.5 mil­lion Thurs­day night at the Hef­fel Fine Art Auc­tion House fall sale in Toronto.

His top-sell­ing can­vas, en­ti­tled Moun­tain and Glacier, (in photo, right) set an auc­tion record for the artist and sold for $4.6 mil­lion, far above the ex­pected $1.5 mil­lion.

The auc­tion house said the 157 works of­fered at its semi-an­nual sale sold for a com­bined $23.4 mil­lion to set a Cana­dian record for a fine art auc­tion. Ex­perts had an­tic­i­pated a to­tal closer to be­tween $10 mil­lion and $15 mil­lion.

“Our 20th year of live auc­tions has been par­tic­u­larly grat­i­fy­ing, thanks to Lawren Har­ris’s re­mark­able mo­men­tum,” said auc­tion house pres­i­dent David Hef­fel.

“It’s re­ward­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the growth of the in­ter­na­tional art mar­ket and share sought-af­ter mas­ter­pieces with the pub­lic as they pass through one set of hands to the next.”

An­other can­vas by the Brant­ford, Ont., na­tive, Win­ter Land­scape, had a pre-sale es­ti­mate as high as $1.6 mil­lion, but sold for $3.6 mil­lion. The third Har­ris paint­ing, Win­ter in the Ward, fetched just over $1.1 mil­lion — well over the pre-auc­tion es­ti­mate of up to $700,000.

In­clud­ing th­ese sales, Hef­fel has now sold works by Har­ris to­talling $63.8 mil­lion.

Har­ris, who died in 1970, has been in the news lately af­ter en­ter­tainer Steve Martin, a noted art col­lec­tor, cu­rated a col­lec­tion of his paint­ings at Los An­ge­les’ Ham­mer Mu­seum.

Martin spent three years putting to­gether the 32 pieces in The Idea of North: The Paint-

ings of Lawren Har­ris.

Mean­while, paint­ings by Jean Paul Riopelle also sold for far above their es­ti­mates Thurs­day. The Mon­treal na­tive’s 1950s can­vas en­ti­tled

Sans titre was ex­pected to sell for as much as $700,000, but sold for more than $1.2 mil­lion. Riopelle’s Jour de fetes more than dou­bled its es­ti­mate and sold for $531,000.

An Alex Colville paint­ing en­ti­tled Har­bour set an auc­tion record for the artist by col­lect­ing al­most $1.9 mil­lion.

Tom Thom­son’s Af­ter the Storm, which is be­lieved to be the last work he pro­duced be- fore his death in 1917, fetched al­most dou­ble its ex­pected price at just un­der $1.3 mil­lion.

Other high­lights in­cluded Li­bel­lules ega­rees by Paul-Emile Bor­d­uas, which sold for $507,400, and Roy Licht­en­stein’s Mod­ern

Room, which sold for $141,600 to set a record for the print at auc­tion.

Bar­bara Hep­worth’s sculp­ture Three Forms sold for $342,000, with pro­ceeds from the sale go­ing to the Mon­treal Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion. A work from the Guido Moli­nari es­tate, Mu­ta­tion ry­th­mique rouge-or­ange, sold for $247,800.


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