Two abstract works by Toronto artist Jack Bush soared to lofty prices as Consignor Canadian Fine Art's spring auction drew to a close last week.

Two vibrant pieces by the Painters Eleven member hit a new record for Canadian online sales, according to Toronto-based Consignor.

Summer Lake (1973), a 50-by-70 inch (about 127-by-178 cm) acrylic canvas, rocketed to a price of $310,500 — more than doubling its pre-sale estimate of $100,000-$150,000.

Pink on Red (Thrust) by Jack Bush

Abstract artist Bush was recognized both in Canada and abroad. He began painting Pink on Red in 1961, but stopped midway to take a trip to the U.S. Upon his return, he finished the painting with the pink section. (Consignor Canadian Fine Art)

A second, earlier canvas from 1961, titled Pink on Red (Thrush), sold for $299,000, well above its pre-sale estimate of $175,000-$225,000.

Both paintings were put up for sale from the corporate art collection of Rothmans, Benson and Hedges Inc.

Interest has been rising for more contemporary artists such as the members of Painters Eleven. Bush, for instance, will take the spotlight in a forthcoming National Gallery of Canada exhibition slated to begin in November.

Other highlights of Consignor's sale, conducted online from May 21-29, included:

  • Yves Gaucher's Gris et Bleu, which sold for $46,000.
  • Gershon Iskowitz's October #2, which sold for $48,300.
  • William Perehudoff's AC-78-33, which sold for $46,000.

Overall, the fledgling auction house, which had its first major sale last fall, sold 81 lots for a total of approximately $1.075 million.

All prices include the auction house's premium of 15 per cent.