A record amount paid for a painting by Canadian artist Emily Carr helped the Heffel Fine Art Auction House set a sales record in its fall auction Thursday.
Leading the live auction at the Park Hyatt Hotel was "The Crazy Stair," which brought in $3.39 million, the most ever paid at auction for a Carr painting.
The pre-auction estimate for the painting, sold to an anonymous buyer, was between $1.2 and $1.6 million.
Heffel says it was the highest amount paid for a work by a Canadian female artist and the fourth most valuable piece ever sold in Canadian art auction history.
The large format painting from Carr’s mature period is described as "indicative of the artist’s lifelong engagement with First Nations culture." The Victoria, B.C, native died in 1945 at the age of 74.
The sale of "The Crazy Stair" boosted overall sales at the auction to more than $13.5 million, which Heffel says exceeded pre-sale expectations.
In all, eight pieces by Carr were sold, including "War Canoes," which fetched $339,300. Heffel has now sold 220 of Carr’s works, totalling $50.6 million.
"Canoe Lake" by Tom Thomson was expected to sell for as much as $600,000, but sold well above estimate at nearly $1.7 million. His painting entitled "Autumn, Algonquin Park" was also sold Thursday for $526,500.
Other highlights included Jean-Paul Riopelle’s 1954 work, "Sans titre," which sold for $789,750 and his "Iceberg IV" work fetched $491,400. The five Riopelle pieces sold Thursday brought in $1.8 million.
A 1971 work by William Kurelek called ”Rink Making” more than tripled its pre-auction estimate by selling for $163,800.
‘‘Ephraim Kelloway's White Door‘‘ by artist David Lloyd Blackwood sold for $105,300, more than double the pre-auction estimate.
The auction also included the sale of a painting by Sir Frederick Banting, who is best known as the co-discoverer of insulin.
His work entitled ”French River” sold for $58,500.
All prices include a 17 per cent buyer's premium.
Like this article? Follow our Facebook pageOr follow us on TwitterFollow @HuffPostBC
Also on HuffPost:
Nuit Blanche is an arts and cultural festival that lasts into the early morning hours and was launched in France in 2002. It has since grown to include more than 100 cities around the world, including <a href="http://www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca/" target="_hplink">Toronto</a>, <a href="http://www.montrealenlumiere.com/nuit-blanche-en/" target="_hplink">Montreal </a>and this year <a href="http://www.nuitblanchecalgary.ca/" target="_hplink">Calgary</a> joined the list. During Nuit Blanche, numerous galleries, outdoor spaces and the like stay open all night, creating a fun, informal atmosphere that makes the art accessible to everyone.
<a href="http://www.artanywhere.com/" target="_hplink">ArtAnywhere </a>does not charge for the temporary exhibitions (so it’s a great way for companies to dress up drab corporate spaces), however if a piece is purchased, the artist owes a commission to ArtAnywhere. The arrangement is win-win given that it gives local artists exposure that they might not be able to gain otherwise for showing their work.
Toronto Graffiti Art
Graffiti is also earning a better reputation in the art world and can be seen in Canadian cities like Toronto. Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/technochick/">technochick</a>
As for performance art, let’s not forget flash mobs. Although now so common their effect may be diluted, flash mobs, that is the brief, seemingly spontaneous event involving a large group of people, can help create buzz and excitement about a particular creative outlet or even to launch a product.
<a href="http://www.thesocietytoronto.com/" target="_hplink">The Society</a> is a culture club helps to expose members to new genres and new inspiration they might not otherwise be privy to. Past events have included a chat with Trainspotting author Irvine Welch (pictured) and a graffiti art bike tour.
Art Beyond Walls
Pop-up galleries are also injecting a bit of temporary, see-it-while-you-can fun into the art mix as well. Last month in Vancouver, video blog <a href="http://hotartwetcity.com/" target="_hplink">Hot Art Wet City</a> opened up a pop-up gallery on the west coast, while in Toronto, <a href="http://www.artbeyondwalls.com/about.html" target="_hplink">Art Beyond Walls</a> is aimed at bringing a mix of artists from across North America to the city in different venues and blending both visual and performing arts with a charitable angle—proceeds go to an art-related cause. <em>Pictured is The Gallery Village, the permanent gallery for Art Beyond Walls.</em>