As the industry leader, Heffel holds a 62% market share of worldwide Canadian art auction sales ~ this percentage figure includes Canadian art sales outside of Canada for artists such as Jean~Paul Riopelle and Sybil Andrews ~ thus the percentage market share within Canada is higher. Heffel has seen steady growth since 2006 when sales were $27.2 million. In 2007 Heffel set the highest Canadian record to date with $50 million in sales. The market has rebounded very well after the financial crisis of September 2008, with sales of
$31 million in 2008, $36 million in 2009 and $40 million in 2010. Heffel forecasts that this steady increase will continue as national and international buyers continue to drive the Canadian art market. All areas of the market are healthy, in historical and contemporary markets as well as in both mid and high range works of art. The market is extremely strong for works of exceptional quality, rarity and impeccable provenance.
Record Sale of Post~War & Contemporary Art
The fall auction’s first session of Post~War & Contemporary Art included a number of stunning masterworks and set record prices for several artists, as well as a new record for the highest value achieved in Canada at auction for a work by a living Canadian painter. Alex Colville’s masterpiece Man on Verandah sold to an international Heffel client for $1,287,000, eclipsing the previous Heffel record for a work by Colville of $690,000 and setting a new artist record. Artist records were the trend of the sale and, since separating their sale into two sessions with a full catalogue for each, values for Post~War & Contemporary works have seen substantial and continued growth. The sale achieved $5.9 million, which is a record total value for a contemporary art sale in Canada. It set nine records and, including the Colville, sold two works for over $1 million, with Jean~Paul Riopelle’s Sans titre selling for $1,111, 500. In the spring live auction, eight new records were set for Post~War & Contemporary Art, and the total sales for contemporary art were $4.87 million. Thus Heffel sold an additional $1 million worth of contemporary art in the fall season compared to the spring season, which attests both to a growing market and the quality of important consignments to the fall season.
Fine Canadian Art Sale Highlighted by the Estates of Mary Breckenridge, Theodosia Dawes Bond Thornton and a Private Philanthropist
Heffel excels at handling important estates such as those of Arthur Erickson, Helen E. Band, Theodosia Dawes Bond Thornton and Mary Breckenridge, all of which were consigned to Heffel in the last two years. Heffel sold three paintings for over $1 million in the Fine Canadian Art sector of the market in 2010; all three masterpieces were in the spring season. Lawren Harris’s Bylot Island I sold for $2,808,000, another Harris, Arctic Sketch IX, sold for $1,521,500 and Arthur Lismer had a record result of $1,111,500 for The Sheep’s Nose, Bon Echo. The spring season of Fine Canadian Art (defined as the historical market and early Canadian modernists from 1900 to 1940) saw five new records set, while three were set in the fall season. Combining the spring and fall seasons, $25.8 million worth of Fine Canadian Art sold with Heffel. The Fine Canadian Art market continues to be strong in all categories, as Heffel continues to see new collectors entering the market.
Top Ten Works of Art Sold by Heffel in 2010
All prices include the 17% buyer’s premium (* denotes an artist record)
1. Lawren Harris ~ Bylot Island I
Sold for $2,808,000
2. Lawren Harris ~ Arctic Sketch IX
Sold for $1,521,000
3. Alexander Colville ~ Man on Verandah
Sold for $1,287,000*
4. Jean~Paul Riopelle ~ Sans titre
Sold for $1,111,500
5. Arthur Lismer ~ The Sheep’s Nose, Bon Echo
Sold for $1,111,500*
6. Lawren Harris ~ Winter
Sold for $731,250
7. Bill Reid ~ Killer Whale (Chief of the Undersea World)
Sold for $702,000*
8. Lawren Harris ~ Houses, Winter, City Painting V
Sold for $702,000
9. Jean Paul Lemieux ~ Ti~Gus
Sold for $672,750*
10. Albert Henry Robinson ~ St~Urbain
Sold for $614,250*
Heffel’s Online Auctions
Heffel’s monthly online sessions of fine art sales for 2010 total $3.7 million. Highlights of the year include a painting entitled Horse by well~known artist Xu Beihong (1895 ~ 1953 Chinese), which sold for $269,100. In 2007 Heffel sold a painting by Zao Wou~Ki (1921 ~ Chinese) for $718,750. Heffel continues to see explosive growth for Asian and South Asian artists such as Sayed Haider Raza (1922 ~ Indian) and Zao Wou~Ki. Both artists’ works are found in Canadian collections as they exhibited in Canada, and now these works are finding their way back to collectors from the artist’s country of origin through Heffel’s global marketing systems. Heffel’s sophisticated online marketing offers monthly specialty sales in a variety of categories, such as International Fine Art including British, Asian and American art, as well as Photography and First Nations works.
Heffel Partners in Philanthropy
Philanthropy has become a large part of Heffel auctions, with corporations and anonymous individuals generously donating the proceeds of their consignments to various charities. Imperial Oil Limited’s masterwork by Arthur Lismer, Dark Pool, Canadian Jungle, Georgian Bay, was sold for $140,400 to raise funds for the United Way of Calgary and Area. Since the fall of 2009, a Canadian philanthropist has donated his consignor proceeds of $7.6 million to charity. In 2010, Heffel directly supported the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society, Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, The Gerry & Nancy Pencer Brain Trust, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, City Opera Vancouver, the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.
Heffel’s infrastructure, with offices across Canada and the use of technological innovation, has firmly established it as the market leader. Heffel’s national and global strength in the sale of Canadian art is unparalleled. With over 6,000 people attending the spring and fall live auction previews in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, Heffel’s commitment to excellence in customer service is paramount. Full~colour, scholarly catalogues are mailed to thousands of clients. Marketing to its extensive international client base in both written and electronic formats in a technologically innovative website, Heffel’s global reach is unprecedented. Virtual previews of the live auction are a newly added enhancement, allowing clients to tour Heffel previews with the click of a mouse, and the auction can be viewed live through streaming video on our website. Beautifully orchestrated sales in first~class ballrooms with auctioneers in black tie, expert staff handling telephone and absentee bids and quality works on offer laid the foundation for the 2010 Canadian auction year at Heffel.
Heffel represents your fine artworks with respect in the printed catalogues, online presentation and in previews across Canada, and reaches a Canadian, American, Asian and European client base. In the 2010 sales, quality, rarity, provenance and ~ of paramount importance ~ the appropriate estimate, came together to produce outstanding results.
In this market, it is imperative to consign with Heffel, the auction house with an unprecedented track record, a national Canadian presence, global clients for Canadian art, unparalleled infrastructureand the most experienced team of fine art specialists in the business.