The art market shows its strength at the Maison Heffel marquee sale, led by Riopelle and Motherwell

  • Record Heffel Auction achieved $16.5 million, driven by fiery global auctions

  • masterpieces of Jean Paul Riopelle and Robert Motherwell stole the show, each surpassing $2 million

  • Alex Colville, Lawrence Harris and Emily Carr each has crossed the million dollar mark with sought after examples

TORONTO, June 1, 2022 /CNW/ – Monumental Works by Powerful Artists Jean Paul Riopelle and Robert Motherwell highlighted the strength of the art market today, as Heffel Fine Art Auction House spring sale closed an intense global auction season. Records were broken across all market sectors in the highly anticipated live auction, which was presented to a remote and lively audience through the House of Heffel digital auction room. Auctions led by passionate collectors drove the total sale to an impressive result of $16.5 million (All prices are in Canadian dollars and include a buyer’s premium.)

Untitled, a 1953 star by Jean Paul Riopelle doubled pre-sale estimates and sold for $2.88 million at the Heffel House live auction on June 1, 2022 (CNW Group/Heffel Fine Art Auction House)

The market for works by Jean Paul Riopelle proves stronger than ever, as Canada is about to celebrate its centenary. Untitled, a colorful canvas characteristic of his signature palette knife and drip techniques, stole the show among an outstanding selection of Post-war and contemporary art at the Heffel auction. The 1953 showstopper saw participation from auctions around the world, driving the final sale price up to $2,881,250more than doubling its pre-sale estimate.

A collection of exceptional works from the esteemed Joan Stewart Clarke Collection were led by a flagship canvas from the American giant of abstract expressionism, Robert Motherwell. The striking but serene canvas August sea #5 was a highlight at House Heffel previews across the country and is truly museum quality. The 1972 masterpiece surpassed the $2 million branded and sold for $2,161,250.

“To spend time with so many works of art of such caliber this season has been a true honor for our team across the country,” said Robert Heffel, vice-president of the Heffel art auction house. “The continued interest and worldwide participation in our auction today underscores the growing appetite for exceptional works of art by collected artists.”

Spring 2022 Live Auction Highlights

  • An incredible result was obtained for Jean-Paul Riopelle phenomenal 1953 Untitled. Bidding quickly gathered pace and ended in a heated battle for the masterpiece’s canvas, which eventually reached $2,881,250 on the auction block (est. $1,000,000 – 1.5 million).

  • by Robert Motherwell outstanding August sea #5, a treasure among the works on offer this season, sold for the impressive sum of $2,161,250. The abstract masterpiece, imposing in scale and rich in color, is a museum-quality example of the internationally collectible artist (est. $2,000,000 – 2,500,000).

  • Gay Swing by Jack Bush reached double its estimate after attracting strong competition in the Post-war and contemporary art session. The dynamic and highly collectible canvas went to one lucky bidder for $721,250 (is. $250,000 – 350,000).

  • by Rita Letendre exceptional Reflection of Edenan early period canvas from 1961, stole the hearts of many avid collectors at the Heffel auction, following his recent death in 2021. The monumental painting deservedly set a new artist record when it is sold for $451,250 (is. $100,000 – 150,000).

  • A superb canvas by a renowned contemporary artist Takao Tanabe smashed the artist’s record at the Heffel auction. Crossing the strait, sunset, a large-scale, moody British Columbia landscape, which sold for the impressive sum of $277,250 (is. $70,000 – 90,000).

  • coastal figure, a successful painting by Alex Colville sold for an explosive result of $1,561,250 (is. $650,000 – 850,000). The peaceful, expressive, large-scale work was painted in 1951, shortly after Colville’s return from World War II.

  • Lawrence Harris shone brightly at the Heffel auction, selling four exceptional examples spanning significant periods of its incredible career. The work was led by the scene of the glowing Rockies, Mountain sketchwhich crossed the million dollar mark and sold for $1,021,250 (is. $500,000 – 700,000).

  • by Emily Carr representation of the forest par excellence and musical, Singing trees stood out at the Heffel auction. The precious mature period canvas sold for $1,261,250 (is. $500,000 – 700,000).

Maison Heffel is currently accepting consignments for the Fall 2022 auction season, including international works of art. The deadline for spring submissions is August 2022.

For more information on the works included in the Heffel House Spring Live Auction, visit

About Heffel Fine Art Auction House

Since 1978, the House of Heffel has connected passionate collectors around the world with exceptional works of art, with sales totaling over half a billion dollars. With offices at Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and CalgaryHeffel has the most experienced team of fine art specialists in Canada and provides superior customer service to sellers and buyers internationally.

Robert Motherwell's masterpiece August Sea #5 sold for an exceptional $2.16 million at the Heffel House Spring 2022 auction (CNW Group/Heffel Fine Art Auction House)

Robert Motherwell’s masterpiece August Sea #5 sold for an exceptional $2.16 million at the Heffel House Spring 2022 auction (CNW Group/Heffel Fine Art Auction House)

SOURCE Heffel Fine Art Auction House



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