Lawren Harris, Tom Thomson and Alex Colville paintings smash records at auction
Mountain and Glacier by Harris was biggest seller of the night at $3.9M
Paintings by famous Canadian artists — including Lawren Harris and Tom Thomson — garnered record prices on Thursday night at the Heffel Fine Art Auction at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Toronto.
- Alex Colville's Harbour painting sells in auction for $1.6M
- After the Storm, believed to be Tom Thomson's final artwork, set for auction
- Lawren Harris art championed by Steve Martin in new exhibit The Idea of North
Lawren Harris's Mountain and Glacier was the biggest seller of the night, going for $3.9 million and breaking the previous record for the sale of one of Harris's pieces. It sold way over what was expected, which was a price between $1 million and $1.5 million.
The $3.9 "hammer price" doesn't include a commission that pushes the final cost of the work even higher.
Records are made to be broken. World-record for Lawren Harris at auction with Mountain and Glacier this evening at $3.9 mil hammer!—@HeffelAuction
Another of Harris's pieces, Winter Landscape, sold for a hammer price of $3.1 million — also one of the night's highest prices. That piece also sold way over the $1.2 to 1.6 million estimated value. Harris paintings are always a big draw, and there may have been increased interest in his work given the buzz around a Steve Martin-curated exhibit at the Los Angeles Hammer Museum.
The exhibit will also hit Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario in 2016.
Alex Colville's Harboursold for a hammer price of $1.6 million, more than doubling the expected price, which was between for $500,000 and $700,000.
After the Storm, by Tom Thomson sold for a hammer price of $1.1 million — it had been expected to sell between $500,000 and $700,000. The work is believed to be the final painting completed by Thomson before his mysterious death in July 1917.
Other Group of Seven artists' works also fetched jaw-dropping prices well above $150,000, such as works by A.Y. Jackson and J.E.H. MacDonald.
Two ceramics by Emily Carr were also sold, as well as her painting Forest Interior, which went for $200,000. The night also featured some international names, such as pieces by pop-art favourite Roy Lichtenstein. His print Modern Room fetched $120,000, setting an international record for the sale.
with files from The Canadian Press