Embracing Digital Innovation and Achieving Excellent Results for Canadian Fine Art & Inuit Art at Waddington’s

Emilee Geist

TORONTO, Sept. 25, 2020 /CNW/ – The artworld has changed drastically since March but the one constant is that collectors continue to look for opportunities to buy and sell quality art. Livestream, or hybrid auctions as they are often referred to, have become the hot topic of the season.

Waddington's Logo (CNW Group/Waddington''s Auctioneers)

Waddington’s continues to embrace digital innovation to best serve our clients and last week staged two evening auctions without a client present in the house.

The auctions were held live in Waddington’s Toronto gallery but for the first time in 170 years without a packed auction room and without paddles waving in the air. The audience was entirely virtual with staff socially distanced on tiered rows of phone banks. The production was livestreamed on YouTube, with bidding by telephone and absentee bids and via our online auction partner Invaluable.

The combined results of the two expressly Canadian art auctions totaled over $3 million.

INUIT ART AUCTION – September 16

Our major Inuit Art auction featured 125 lots representing an impressive mix of important historical and contemporary works attracting buyers from across Canada, the U.S.A., and the United Kingdom. The success of the auction is a testament to the continued growth in collectors’ passion for Inuit art, attracting new bidders and demonstrating a general strengthening across the market.

Works by iconic artists including Joe Talirunili, Kenojuak Ashevak and Pauta Saila all achieved superb results exceeding their pre-sale estimates.

Highlight Results

Joe Talirunili, MIGRATION BOAT, stone sculpture – Price Realised $216,000
Kenojuak Ashevak, THE ENCHANTED OWL, stone cut print – Price Realised $204,000
Pauta Saila, ATTACKING BEAR, stone sculpture – Price Realised $28,800
Kenojuak Ashevak, NIGHT SPIRITS, stone cut print – Price Realised $28,800
Pauta Saila, DANCING BEAR, stone sculpture – Price Realised $45,600

Inuit Art Auction Total: $999,950


Waddington’s specialty of offering works fresh to market proved to be a continued formula for success. Mainstays of Canadian Art auctions performed very well, including works by Tom Thomson, Jean Paul Riopelle, Lawren Harris, and three works by Cornelius Krieghoff which all sold above their pre-sale estimates.

Tom Thomson, A QUIET SUMMER EVENING, c.1913 – Price Realised $360,000
Jean Paul Riopelle, COMPOSITION, c.1955, oil on canvas – Price Realised $168,000
Lawren Stewart Harris, PINE TREES, KEMPENFELT BAY, c.1916 – Price Realised $132,000
Cornelius Krieghoff, GOING TO THE VILLAGE, 1849 – Price Realised $90,000

Canadian Fine Art Auction Total: $2,128,000

Other Notable Sales

Waddington’s was honoured to offer Nanai No. 4 by William Perehudoff, one of many wonderful paintings entrusted to us from an important estate in Alberta. Massive interest in this exceptional example of the artist’s late 1960s abstract style required use of all our telephone lines plus additional phone bidders on cell phones to accommodate the bids from across North America. This favourite throughout the previews smashed its presale estimate of $12,000$16,000 to sell for $66,000.

Tom Thomson’s paintings are always a rare find and we were honoured to offer two in the same auction, both listed in the catalogue raisonné by art historian and curator Joan Murray. Alongside this legend of Canadian art, we continue to be proud to offer works by Kent Monkman, a legend in the making. With his notoriety is on the rise around the world we were very pleased to sell Fort Edmonton for $40,800, demonstrating that Canadian Contemporary Art is an excellent investment and holds its value on the secondary market. We are pleased to offer another work by Monkman this October in our online Contemporary Art auction, this time from the artist’s Modern Love print series.  

Carefully selected offerings deserving the exposure of our major auction included a powerful oil on canvas by Kenneth Lochhead entitled The Burial, Alex Janvier’s Power Struggle and a lovely study for a fully realized canvas by Andre Bièler, Cap Tourmente. All found enthusiastic bidders who appreciated the opportunity to acquire works of such rarity and quality.

Continuing Waddington’s charitable commitment, we were proud to help honour the legacy of the late Richard Thurston LaPrairie and offer a number of works generously donated by the Estate, including this striking painting by David Thauberger. Proceeds from the sale of each work sold will be donated to Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium to benefit children living with cancer. The remainder of the Estate consigned to Waddington’s will be featured in a series of auctions later this fall and spring 2021, with the next auction focused on Indigenous art running online October 3 – 8.

Waddington’s also thanks the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation for consigning a vibrant painting by Iskowitz entitled Blue Red-C. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will benefit the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation which awards an annual prize to mid-career artists and is vital to the Canadian arts community. The sale of this lot will enable the artist’s important legacy to continue. 

Waddington’s is not new to conducting online auctions, achieving successful results in some 80 online auctions each year. With record-breaking bids placed during both these major auctions, collectors demonstrated their enthusiasm and confidence in buying quality art via this enhanced digital format. We are pleased to offer the excitement of a truly live auction in the most effective and safe way while achieving the results our clients expect.

Note: All prices quoted are in Canadian Dollars and include Buyer’s Premium.

Please visit our website for all past auction results and upcoming auctions.

About Waddington’s

Waddington’s is Canada’s most diversified provider of auction and appraisal services.  We specialise in Asian, Canadian, Inuit and Indigenous, International and Contemporary Art, as well as Decorative Arts and Design, Fine Jewellery and Fine Wine & Spirits.


TOM THOMSON, A QUIET SUMMER EVENING, Price Realised $360,000 (CNW Group/Waddington''s Auctioneers)

KENOJUAK ASHEVAK, THE ENCHANTED OWL, Price Realised $204,000 (CNW Group/Waddington''s Auctioneers)

SOURCE Waddington”s Auctioneers

Cision View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/September2020/25/c9485.html

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