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Fall Auction Results: Canadian & Inuit Art

Waddington's | October 22, 2020

Categories: news

Fall Auction Results: Canadian & Inuit Art

October 22, 2020 By: Yvonne Monestier, Duncan McLean


While the artworld has changed drastically since early spring, the one constant is that collectors continue to look for opportunities to buy and sell quality art. The majority of the industry has taken a quantum leap forward, fully embracing digital and in some cases virtual solutions to the new inability to host clients in person. Accordingly, livestream auctions (also referred to as hybrid auctions) have become the hot topic of the art world.

Waddington’s continues to embrace digital innovation to best serve our clients. Our fall major Canadian Fine Art and Inuit Art auctions were presented as live evening events – without a single client present. The auctions were held at Waddington’s Toronto location, but for the first time in 170 years, without a packed auction room or paddles waving in the air. While our staff worked the phones in house (appropriately distanced, of course!), the production was livestreamed on YouTube, with bidding occurring by telephone, absentee bids and via our online auction partner Invaluable.

Prior to the auctions, clients were welcomed to private previews, in adherence to all health and safety requirements. We were also proud to provide our new, enhanced digital catalogues, which received rave reviews from many of you. If you missed seeing the catalogues, you’re invited to enjoy them on our website: the Canadian Fine Art digital catalogue and the Inuit Art digital catalogue.

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


Our September Inuit Art auction featured 125 lots representing an impressive mix of important historical and contemporary works, attracting buyers from across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

The success of the auction is a testament to a growing passion for Inuit art, attracting new bidders and demonstrating a continued strengthening across the market.

Works by iconic artists Joe Talirunili, Kenojuak Ashevak and Pauta Saila all achieved superb results exceeding their pre-sale estimates, with works by contemporary artists like Tim Pitsiulak and Shuvinai Ashoona continuing to make their mark.



Joe Talirunili, MIGRATION BOAT, stone sculpture
Price Realised $216,000

Kenojuak Ashevak, THE ENCHANTED OWL, stonecut print
Price Realised $204,000

Pauta Saila, DANCING BEAR, stone sculpture
Price Realised $45,600

Pauta Saila, ATTACKING BEAR, stone sculpture
Price Realised $28,800

Kenojuak Ashevak, NIGHT SPIRITS, stonecut print
Price Realised $28,800

Pauta Saila, DANCING BEAR, stone sculpture
Price Realised $45,600



Waddington’s takes pride in offering works fresh to market. The mainstays of Canadian Art performed very well at our major fall auction, including works by Tom Thomson, Jean Paul Riopelle, Lawren Harris, and three works by Cornelius Krieghoff, all which sold above their pre-sale estimates.

Tom Thomson’s paintings are exceedingly rare, so we were especially honoured to offer two in the same auction. Both are listed in the catalogue raisonné by art historian and curator Joan Murray.


Tom Thomson, A QUIET SUMMER EVENING, c.1913
Price Realised $360,000

Tom Thomson, LATE SPRING, 1912
Price Realised $204,000

Jean Paul Riopelle, COMPOSITION, c.1955
Price Realised $168,000

Lawren Stewart Harris, PINE TREES, KEMPENFELT BAY, c.1916
Price Realised $132,000

Cornelius Kreighoff, INDIAN TRAPPERS, 1849
Price Realised $120,000



Waddington’s was also 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 the use of every single one of our telephone lines, with additional bidders from across North America managing to place bids via our staff’s cellphones. A favourite throughout the previews, Nanai No. 4 smashed its presale estimate of $12,000 – $16,000, ultimately selling for $66,000.

We continue to be proud to offer works by Kent Monkman, a Canadian legend in the making. With his prominence rising around the world, we were very pleased to sell Fort Edmontonfor $40,800, demonstrating that Canadian contemporary art is an excellent investment, holding its value on the secondary market.

Other highlights 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 TourmenteAll found enthusiastic buyers 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 by offering 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 through into early 2021.

Waddington’s would also like to thank the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation for consigning a vibrant Iskowitz painting 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. The prize is vital to the Canadian arts community, and the sale of Blue Red-C will enable the artist’s important legacy to continue.

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


Our next major auction of Canadian Fine Art is scheduled for December 5 – 10. Details are available here.


We’re always accepting consignments for our upcoming auctions, please don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you understand the true value of your artworks, and make informed decisions. Contact us.

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