TORONTO – A painting by Quebec abstract artist Jean Paul Riopelle fetched nearly $2.9 million at auction.

Riopelle’s 1953 palette knife with “Untitled” drip nearly doubled its pre-auction estimate from $1 million to $1.5 million at the auction house’s spring sale. art Heffel Wednesday.

American Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell’s 1972 painting “August Sea #5” lived up to expectations with a sale price of nearly $2.2 million.

Artists associated with the Group of Seven exceeded expectations in the Heffel House digital showroom, which streamed from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver as buyers placed bids online, over the phone or in absentia.

Lawren Harris’ depiction of the Rockies “Mountain Sketch” cost over $1 million, while BC painter Emily Carr’s Mature Period forest scene “Singing Trees” cost nearly $1.3 million. million bucks. Both coins were auctioned with an estimated value of $500,000 to $700,000.

Heffel says the 79 lots in its spring catalog brought in a total of $16.5 million. All estimates and sales include auction house fees in addition to the hammer price.

Other highlights include:

– “Coastal Figure” by Canadian artist Alex Colville, painted in 1951 shortly after his return from World War II, sold for nearly $1.6 million, beating its pre-sale estimate of $650,000 and $850,000.

– “Reflection of Eden,” a period painting by Quebec artist Rita Letendre, fetched $450,000, marking a new record for the artist who died late last year, according to Heffel.

— ‘Swing Gay’ by Canadian abstract painter Jack Bush was the subject of an avid auction that pushed its price up to $720,000, doubling its pre-sale estimate from $250,000 to $350,000.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 2, 2022.

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