Going... Going... Going... Nowhere!
Painting #9, 1964-5, Oil on Masonite, 24 x 36" Click to see larger
So a familiar piece turned up in Heffel’s March 2017 on line auction. And sadly, it received no bids. It is a great piece of history, radically unique even to this day and a beautiful old painting. But still, no bids.
This White Line Painting of 1965 was first displayed back in the last century by none other than Dorothy Cameron.
It is called number 9 and it appears ninth in a column of the Exhibition Catalogue of the show that Cameron traveled to the New Brunswick Museum and the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1965. Interestingly, the exhibition hung in a commercial gallery in Toronto and in public galleries in the other two cities.
Also on that list is a painting called Byzantium which was auctioned in 2006. And how long ago even that seems now! That painting was given an estimate of $2,000-2,500 back then but it sold to a certain Mr. Thomson, who knows a deal when he sees one, for over $55,000. That story, and an image of the painting is here.
Here, above and below are some of the 2 foot by 2 foot paintings as they hung in the Dorothy Cameron Gallery in Toronto.
There’s a couple more familiar squares here too: the two grids. One sold badly at auction a while back for only $10,000 and the other is shown below selling a couple of years later at the Moore Gallery in 2011 for $40,000. And those are just 2-by-2’s while this current piece is a 2-by-3. The Wallace Galleries in Calgary just sold a 1960 2-by-4 in October ’16 for $71,000.
But these are the vicissitudes of the auction market. Is it a mug's game, as some say? We must say, no. Is life itself a mug's game? We must say, no. What does our art say about that? It must say, no.