braves the recession landscape Monday morning with its annual spring auction of “important Canadian art” at Ritchies Auctioneers
in Toronto. Highlights of the 142 works up for sale include a trio of Jean Paul Lemieux canvases, an iconic Emily Carr forest interior, Cathedral
, and a tiny B. C. Binning oil on masonite, Device for Aesthetic Response
, that is to die for in its modest perfection. (Lemieux’s La Prairie
is estimated at $150,000 to $200,000, the Carr at $150,000 to $250,000 and the Binning at $12,000 to $18,000.)
Last November, with the market in free fall, Sotheby’s did better than expected with an $8.4 million dollar haul anchored by the sale of a Lawren Harris arctic picture that sold for $1.8 million dollars, up hugely from its $300,000 to $500,000 estimate. This year, restraint rules all expectations despite the quality of the assembled works. Sales are predicted to come in roughly $3 million dollars lower. Heffel, the strong Vancouver auction house, is slated to hold its sales of historical and contemporary Canadian art on June 17.