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Heffel Auction Preview: Belles Bids

Paul-Émile Borduas Allegro furioso 1949

The Toronto preview for Heffel’s fall auctions gets underway this week at its Yorkville gallery, with 111 works up for grabs in the Canadian postwar and contemporary art auction and 299 works becoming available in the fine Canadian art auction. Following on the heels of previews in Vancouver and Montreal, this showing is the final one prior to the gavel falling on November 26 at the Park Hyatt, and as with any auction, it’s enjoyable to speculate on which works might most inspire bidding fever.

Particularly noteworthy in the postwar and contemporary art offerings are a couple of works from Paul-Émile Borduas—1949’s darkly inflected Allegro furioso, which was created at the same time as his pamphlet Projections libérantes, and 1955’s all-over composition Arabesque, which has been linked to the artist’s New York period. The former holds an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000 and the latter one of $275,000 to $375,000. Compelling works by William Ronald, Sorel Etrog, Jack Bush, Mary Pratt and William Kurelek are also likely to generate high-end interest, while those seeking something more economical might well be intrigued by Toronto 20, a 1965 cooperative portfolio of prints by Greg Curnoe, Michael Snow, Joyce Wieland and other well-known artists, which is estimated at $4,000 to $5,000.

In the fine Canadian art section, many eyes will likely be on the Group of Seven’s works, particularly a sketch for Lawren Harris’ famed North Shore, Lake Superior, which has an estimate starting at $2 million. Tom Thomson’s Early Spring Canoe Lake, created just a couple of months before his tragic 1917 death, is estimated at $600,000 to $800,000. Works by A.J. Casson, A.Y. Jackson, Emily Carr and David Milne are just a few of the other highlights of this array—all worth seeing now if one hasn’t (or if one wishes to amp up) the bidding acumen needed to own them later. (13 Hazelton Ave, Toronto ON)

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