Blogs



What You Need to Know About Buying Vintage


Thinking of buying a vintage engagement ring?

You may be surprised to know there are many excellent reasons you should consider purchasing a pre-loved token of affection. Christa Lambert explains the top four reasons and provides some advice on what to look out for when you buy antique:

  1. Hand crafted and one-of-a-kind – If your significant other loves unique pieces, you can be sure the vintage ring you propose with will never be seen on another hand. Each antique piece was handcrafted by skilled jewellers prior to the introduction of modern equipment used today to create jewellery, such as CAD and growing machines. Antique pieces were hand crafted; added details such as engraving and milgrain all required much more time, patience, and skill. The precision details of the past just cannot be duplicated to the same degree by today’s modern methods.
  2. Exceptional value, get more for your budget – Why pay retail prices, when you can purchase a piece of equal value for a fraction of the price? Retail prices are based on market value of the metal and gemstones, plus an average of 200-300% mark up (sometimes even more). Auction estimates are primarily based on the market value of materials. And bear in mind that many antique dealers actually buy their stock at auction, adding their markup when it enters their display case. Chances are you'll find a deal by participating in an auction, and perhaps even be able to buy a larger diamond than you thought your budget could afford.
  3. A historical piece makes an excellent heirloom – Each antique ring tells a story. It’s fascinating to learn about the older cut of diamonds, materials used, and the different styles that date a piece. Perhaps there is a hallmark that will provide information on a country of origin or a maker mark that gives the piece historical significance. Speaking with a Waddington’s specialist you can learn all about your ring of choice and share its romantic story with your intended.
  4. It’s a more environmentally safe and ethical choice – In today’s world we’re increasingly conscious of the footprint we leave on this earth and make choices acordingly. That includes being aware of the environmental impact of mining metals and gemstones. When purchasing a vintage piece, you’re not contributing to further damaging impact on our environment. For more information visit www.nodirtygold.com, a website making ripples and influencing retailers to take a stand against destructive mining.
"There is no such thing as clean gold, unless it’s recycled or vintage,” Alan Septoff, communications manager for the No Dirty Gold campaign.

What to be on the lookout for when buying an antique ring:

    1. Loose stones – A simple shake close to the ear is usually enough to tell if there are loose stones in a mount that would require tightening by a skilled jeweller.
    2. Wear on claws – Over time the claws that secure stones can wear down, leaving the gemstones susceptible to coming loose from the mount.
    3. Are the details intact? After years of wear, details can be softened. In the case where rings have been worn next to each other, some details may be worn off completely.
    4. Thickness of the shank – After years of wear, a shank may have been worn quite thin. Antique rings sometime require a shank replacement.
    5. Have there been alterations or repairs to the piece? Using a jeweller’s loop, study the piece to see if there have been changes. You may notice globs of solder that have not been removed properly. Parts may have been added or removed from a piece. Poor quality repair or alterations can detract from a piece’s beauty and value.
    6. Have old-cut diamonds been replaced with modern-cut stones?  Using a jeweller’s loop, examine the diamonds. Do the cuts match? Often, older stones have been lost and replaced with modern cuts.
    7. Is the ring the right size / can the size be adjusted? Not all rings can be sized without damaging the structural integrity of the ring, or details such as enamel inlay. Ask a Waddington’s specialist if it is possible to size the ring you're interested in.

The good news is that many of the above problems can be corrected by a skilled jeweller. Make sure you speak to one of Waddington’s jewellery specialists to find out if pieces can be restored and what are the costs associated with repairs that may be required.

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Posted: 8/1/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Lambert


Recent & Upcoming Events in Canadian Art


Recent and Upcoming Events


Waddington’s May 29th Spring Auction of Important Canadian Art was an exhilarating evening with the total hammer price for the sale widely exceeded Waddington’s pre-sale expectation for this select 112 lot event.


Our cover lot, an early topographical watercolour by William Armstrong, came within a hair’s breadth of setting a new world record for the artist. Our back cover lot, a mighty 1961 McEwen painting, doubled its pre-sale estimate, and dozens of other lots soared well above their pre-sale estimate, to our sellers’ great delight.


On June 27th, we will be conducting our Canada 150 Auction which includes exquisite and fascinating objects and works of art selected to tell the story of Canada’s history. The sale is a collaborative event supported by the Canadian Art, Decorative Arts, Inuit Art, International Art and Jewellery Departments here at Waddington’s.


Please be sure to look for highlights from the Canadian Art Department including a suite of 21 paintings by William Kurelek depicting Huronia in 17th Century Canada, as well as works by AY Jackson, Frederick Banting, Emily Carr, Jane-Ash Poitras and others.


Details about this special sesquicentennial event can be found here: The Canada 150 Auction


 

Posted: 6/15/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck


Waddington’s Canada 150 Auction


The Canada 150 auction is a special Waddington's event celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary featuring art and objects of historical and cultural significance. Some may be whimsical, others more important, all drawn together to celebrate and tell the stories of 150 years of Canadian art and culture. Waddington's is proud to be Canada's oldest auction house, founded pre-Confederation. Our deep well of expertise crosses multiple collecting categories, showcasing our rich passion and capacity for scholarship and linking our heritage to Canada's. This specialized auction will share in the excitement of Canada’s sesquicentennial. Please contact Sean Quinn for further information: sq@waddingtons.ca View the Auction Gallery



CITY OF TORONTO QUEEN VICTORIA DIAMOND JUBILEE ENAMELLED GOLD MEDAL, 1897 Estimate: $2,000—3,000



PROVINCE OF CANADA LAND GRANT TO SIR SANFORD FLEMING, 1856 Estimate: $300—400



LARGE SILVER CANADIAN INDIAN PEACE MEDAL, 1860 Estimate: $2,000—3,000



AFTER JOHN S.C. SCHAAK (ACTIVE WESTMINSTER 1761-1769), BRITISH MAJOR GENERAL JAMES WOLFE, COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES ON THE EXPEDITION AGAINST QUEBEC, 1759 Estimate: $3,000—5,000



JOHN MARSHALL & CO. ‘CANADIAN SPORTS’ LARGE BASIN, 1880S Estimate: $150—250


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Posted: 6/3/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean


One Art Nation Lecture Series Comes to Waddington's


Waddington’s is pleased to host the final presentation in the One Art Nation lecture series on Wednesday, May 24 at 6 pm. The informative discussion on buying and selling at auction will feature a private viewing of the Waddington’s Canadian and Inuit art auctions.


Buying and Selling at Auction Curious about how auctions work? Waddington’s senior specialists Linda Rodeck and Stephen Ranger will explain that if you know how to go about it, purchasing and selling art at auction can be accessible, affordable, personal and fun. The leading experts in the Canadian art market will discuss the merits and opportunities of buying fine art at auction and will offer their personal insights on short and long term collecting strategies. The talk will conclude with a tour of the auction preview


About One Art Nation One Art Nation (1AN), an international online art network connecting collectors, enthusiasts, professionals and experts, brings its internationally recognized vision for innovative arts education and community home to Canada with 1AN’s inaugural four-part “Art Collecting – Know Your Options” Toronto Spring Lecture Series. Discussions on Art Collecting, Understanding the Artist’s Process and Buying at a Gallery, preceded this final event at Waddington’s. Through educational talks, artist showcases, and expert interviews, One Art Nation (1AN) is demystifying the process of buying art from start to finish. Their goal is to bring together prominent art experts from across the globe to address topics that range from building, maintaining and protecting a collection, to tax and financial aspects of owning art.


Click here to register for the event


Lot 24 - JEAN ALBERT MCEWEN, R.C.A. COMPOSITION Estimate: $25,000—30,000

Posted: 5/19/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean


Inuit Art Spring 2017


We are pleased to present the following collections and individual works entrusted to us for this spring's auction of Inuit Art.

This lovely selection of artwork by artists from across Canada’s Arctic is highlighted by the prestigious private collection of a long-time auction attendee who found such treasures as Karoo Ashevak’s animated drum dancer at Waddington’s in 1983.

Another extraordinary work in this auction is Michael Massie’s mixed media work titled Creativity of the Spirit: Distant Relations which has gained the admiration of all of Waddington’s specialists and which I’m especially pleased to present to the auction market, along with three other fabulous works by Massie. From this same Ottawa collection we offer some stunning contemporary graphics by Itee Pootoogook, Germaine Arnaktauyok and Kenojuak Ashevak.

A particular wonder of this auction is a collection of fabrics printed with incredible designs in Cape Dorset in the 1960’s. The largest collection of fabric art to come to market and a rarity to even see - this collection is a piece of the history of innovation in the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative.

Pauta Saila, the master of the dancing polar bear, is well represented in the following pages, each carving of his was carefully selected and are prime examples of different creative phases in his career.

Finally, we are pleased to bring attention to another collection which has come all the way to us from Wales and was composed by a couple who lived and worked in the North in those early days and felt akin to the people they met there. We’ve included their story on page 56 of the catalogue.

Thank you to all of our consigners this season, it is truly a pleasure to hear your stories and be trusted to present your collections. A sincere thank you to all the collectors who continue to demonstrate their love of Inuit art, season after season.

View the PDF Catalogue


Christa Ouimet Inuit Art Specialist

Posted: 4/29/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet


SKAM Graffiti Art Online Auction April 3 - 13


Waddington’s is proud to present Toronto’s first auction of Graffiti Art. A collection of 16 recent works by Toronto-based artist Jason Wing, known as SKAM, will be offered in an online auction April 3 to 13. Highly-regarded, Jason is considered one of Toronto’s true, original graffiti artists.

Formally trained in graphic design at George Brown College, Jason began creating his art over 20 years ago, which now appears everywhere from dark back alleys to gleaming corporate spaces. Of the works featured in the Waddington’s auction, each is an original, spray-painted freehand onto canvas, varying in size from 48” x 48” to 48” x 96”.

In answer to what he is inspired by, Jason says: “It varies, sometimes I sketch beforehand and sometimes I don’t. Nowadays with over a 1000 plus pieces under my belt I generally free style. I get inspiration from anywhere and everywhere: fashion, art, music, etc.”

Jason skillfully balances maintaining his street credit with receiving mainstream recognition for his work. He has designed movie sets, conducted live painting engagements for festivals and special events, as well as created commissioned artwork for clients like Yabu Pushelberg, Google, Beanfield Metroconnect, and Louis Vuitton.

In addition to his graffiti work, Jason is also an entrepreneur, and has turned his lifelong passion into a storefront business, Homebase, which sells graffiti supplies, providing other artists with access to great products and to connect with him. Jason is also prolific. He paints personal pieces on a weekly basis, completing an average of 80 works a year.

Duncan McLean, president of Waddington’s, notes that “urban art plays a critical role in constructive societal discourse. It is free expression at its ultimate and underlines our innate need to chronicle our stories, struggles, history.” He adds: “Waddington’s has been the vanguard of promoting diverse forms of Canadian art, from our first sales of Group of Seven works in the 1960s, to creating new markets for Inuit art over the last four decades, and developing a secondary market for contemporary Canadian art through our Concrete Contemporary Art Auctions and Projects division.”





Posted: 3/2/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean


Concrete Contemporary Blog Fall 2016


JOHN HARTMAN, R.C.A.
THE THAMES LOOKING DOWN RIVER
This fall we continue our partnership with New York-based Artsy to present over 60 works in an online auction featuring the very best of Canadian Contemporary Art.

Stunning works by painters John Hartman, Michael Adamson, David Urban, Kim Dorland, Ron Martin, Nicole Katsuras, Stephen Appleby-Barr, Joe Fleming, Tom Hopkins and Shelley Adler among many others are offered alongside photo and conceptual masters such as Ian Wallace, Iain Baxter&, Edward Burtynsky and Barbara Astman.

This is certainly one of our strongest offerings yet and our partnership with Artsy allows for tremendous international exposure, one of the founding precepts of Concrete Contemporary. Bidding is online only through the Artsy auction site but the previews will be held live in Waddington’s gallery October 27 through November 3 with special weekend hours coinciding with Art Toronto.

In other news, we are delighted to be involved in a number of important charitable events this fall including the 23rd Casey House Art with Heart auction, the Look2016 auction for Contemporary Calgary and the very special Buy Art Not Kids auction on November 1 that will raise funds to support the fight against human trafficking in Canada and in Cambodia. If you would like more information on these events, please visit the links below.

www.artwithheart.ca

www.buyartnotkids.com

www.contemporarycalgary.com

If you are unable to attend our previews for the Concrete Contemporary auction but would like to see or discuss any of the works on offer, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We really look forward to seeing you in the gallery this fall.

Posted: 10/17/2016 9:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


Concrete Contemporary Art Auctions


DAVID URBAN
SOLECISM, 1996
Estimate: $7,000–9,000
One of the biggest perks of working at Waddington's is getting to see the remarkable examples of Canadian contemporary art that come through our doors. The moments when we see a work of art that makes us stop in our tracks and say, “Wow!”...well, let's just say that's what makes the everyday workload suddenly become lighter. And then we get to share our enthusiasm with our clients during the auction previews and feel that rush all over again when we discuss the stories that each work of art we offer holds within it: the who, what, when, where, why and how of the work and of its maker. That’s when art becomes part of our stories.

But before we can have these shared experiences, the art must be assembled. Our fall auction is shaping up wonderfully with consignments of artwork by Canada's leading contemporary artists such as Kim Dorland, Edward Burtynsky, David Urban, Stephen Appleby-Barr and many others, but there is room for much more. If you or someone you know is considering a consignment of Canadian contemporary art, please let us know. We can provide complimentary and confidential assessment of its auction value.

To continue broadening our reach to new audiences, we are pleased to announce that all lots offered in November’s auction will be held in conjunction with Artsy.net.

This past April, Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects introduced an exciting partnership with Artsy, one of the world’s leading resources for art education and collectors of fine art. With nearly half a million subscribers, Waddington's consignors benefited from Artsy's global reach and when combined with our ever-growing following of contemporary art collectors, it was a perfect match with nearly all works offered through this collaboration selling on auction day. We anticipate continued growth and success working with Artsy on this and future auctions.

Auction: October 27–November 3

Auction Preview: 27 October – 3 November
Weekday hours: 9-5; Weekend hours 11-5

(exhibited with “Shades of Grey” Prints and Photography Auction)


Posted: 8/25/2016 12:00:00 AM
By: Kristin Vance


Small Art / Big Hearts Benefit Auction
June 24 – 28, 2016


Mark Gleberzon, Aurum Barbie
Face-mounted photo on panel
12"x12" x 1-1/2"D, 2016
Small Art / Big Hearts Benefit Auction
June 24 – 28, 2016

A pop-up contemporary art auction to benefit LGBT communities in Orlando and Toronto.

When Toronto artist Mark Gleberzon approached us about his idea to raise money for the LGBT communities in Orlando and Toronto, our immediate reaction was: how can we help. The opportunity to be able to respond to a tragedy that has shaken us all in an immediate and meaningful way, made suggesting to host an online art auction a no-brainer.

The Small Art / Big Hearts benefit auction in support of LGBT communities in Orlando and Toronto has touched the heart of the generous arts community. Over 100 artists have committed to donating works to the auction as a result of Mark’s facebook posting last week.

Mark has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity. “When I put out my first post of Facebook last Tuesday I said ‘emojis, memes and pictures of rainbow flags are only going to do so much.’ I felt something more vital needed to be done. So I put out a small call-out on Facebook to some of my artist-friends to donate art and it snowballed from there!"

The auction will feature small-scale artworks (acrylic, oil and encaustic paintings, mixed-media, photography, sculpture, jewellery and more) by Mark Gleberzon, Sharon Barr, Ian Busher, Rob Croxford, Laura Culic, Shelagh Young-Howard, Carol Westcott, James Fowler, Marjolyn van der Hart, Julie Himel, Cindy Scaife and many more. The online gallery will be launched as quickly as we can photograph and catalogue all the art! Our thanks and appreciation to our staff and the many, many people who are donating their time and talent to this cause.

Follow us on social media as the auction comes together. #SmallArtBigHearts

Dates and Times
Online Auction to be held:
June 24-28, 2016

On View:
Thursday 23 June 2016 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Friday 24 June 2016 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Auction Details
Over 100 works including paintings, photograpy, prints, jewellery, etc., donated by GTA-based artists
No buyer’s premium
100% of proceeds will be donated
Proceeds go towards selected Orlando and Toronto-based LGBT organizations

About Mark Gleberzon
Mark is an OCADU Honours graduate & professional artist. He has a long history of showing his multi-media work in shows and galleries throughout Canada and the U.S., France & Japan. His paintings can be found on every continent and have been featured in design & decor magazines, have appeared on TV and has been highlighted in online blogs.

A fearless artist and promoter of artists, Mark is indefatigable in his work and energy within the Toronto art scene.

Duncan McLean
President, Waddington's
Posted: 6/21/2016 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean


CONCRETE BLOG MARCH 2016


KIM DORLAND
ZOMBIES
$3,000–5,000

To be offered in our March 11-17 online auction
This spring Concrete Contemporary puts forward an ambitious and important offering of over 150 works in both our online and live auctions from private collections across the country. We hope our online galleries will whet your appetite and we invite you to attend our extended preview at our Toronto, King Street East gallery.

The March 11-17 online auction features 77 works, accessibly priced, created by an array of extremely important contemporary Canadian artists. Many works are small in scale and are aimed at the emerging collectors market. Bid on a small work by Kim Dorland or a beautiful photograph by Max Dean or Lynne Cohen for under $3000. It’s a great opportunity to add blue chip art to a budding collection. We are especially pleased to be offering a number of works in support of the Scotiabank Contact Festival again this season.

For our live auction on April 11, we have partnered with New York based Artsy, who will feature approximately 15 lots for online bidding prior to the live auction on the evening of April 11. Log on to artsy.net for full information on how to bid or contact Kristin Vance or myself directly for assistance.

The live auction is again a panoramic snapshot of the best in contemporary Canadian art. There are many notable works, but we are particularly proud to be offering two major canvases by Wanda Koop from the Estate of James Bisback, wonderfully divergent takes on landscape by Kim Dorland and Steve Driscoll; monumental photo-based works by Ed Burtynsky, Arnold Zageris, Michael Awad and April Hickox; and video installation and photography from Adad Hannah. The list is impressive, speaking to the breadth and talent of contemporary Canadian art.

We look forward to welcoming you to the gallery for the auction and previews. Please mark Sunday, April 10 at 2 pm in your calendars for a special preview event at 275 King Street East featuring a number of special guests and refreshments.



Posted: 3/10/2016 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


Concrete Contemporary Art Online Auction October 17 - 22


GREG CURNOE
EARLY SKIN FROM ROW FOTO
collage
13 ins x 11 ins; 33 cms x 27.9 cms
$4,000—6,000
Seventy-seven exceptional prints, paintings, sculptures, drawings and mixed media works are to be offered in Concrete Contemporary’s online auction on October 22, representing the artistic diversity and broad range of talents of Canada’s contemporary artists. Works by luminaries such as David Bolduc, Brian Kipping, David Urban, Wanda Koop, Michael Adamson, Barbara Astman, Iain Baxter and many more are included in this sale. A highlight of the auction is a collage by Greg Curnoe (1936-1992) whose works in this medium are highly sought-after glimpses into the artist’s life during the 1960s.

Curoe’s Early Skin From Row Foto (I1964) is an assemblage of seemingly random ephemera arranged in a freeform shape resembling a puzzle piece. Included in the imagery is a vertical strip of semi-erotic magazine clippings, a pin-up photograph, a cigar label, a push pin, a newspaper fragment and a postage stamp from Spain. True to his penchant for using text in his work, Curnoe added torn and painted papers accented with stamped letters and numbers spelling “SWEATY” and “NOVEMBER 20.” All of these elements surround the central component of the collage, a parking ticket dated Feb. 18, 1964. According to the artist and close friend of Curnoe’s, Robert Fones, “Curnoe’s collages are straightforward records of his daily life, his comings and goings, the people with whom he was in contact, the items he bought, the buses he took and the things that fascinated him.” Curnoe’s connection to time and place was integral to his selection of materials…one person’s refuse is another’s inspiration. The mundane artifacts of daily existence most people would discard became visual documentation of his existence, and when combined with his keen sense of colour and design skills, became the very stuff that would comprise Curnoe’s important collages.

Robert Fones, Suspended Animation, Cutout: Greg Curnoe Shaped Collages 1965-1968, Museum London, 2011, p.47


Canadian Contemporary Art Online Auction
Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects
October 17-22, 2015


On View:
Saturday 17 October 2015 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday 18 October 2015 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monday 19 October 2015 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tuesday 20 October 2015 from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm

View the Auction Gallery

View the Auction Catalogue



Posted: 9/25/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Kristin Vance


Results of our April Contemporary Canadian Art Auction


KIM DORLAND
LOST (detail)
Realised: $12,000
With over 70% of lots sold, the April 2015 Concrete Contemporary auction was a great success. Thank you to all who attended, consigned and purchased work from this fantastic event!

We're pleased that by extending the preview for the auction for a full two weeks, many more people were able to see the collection - the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We plan to continue these extended previews in the future.

We're specifically proud of setting new auction records for a number of artists including Gerald Ferguson, Angela Leach, Melanie Authier, Joe Fleming and Susanna Heller. It is also gratifying to have sold works by many other artists on the secondary market for the very first time. Our gallery was standing-room-only for the auction, and the competitive bidding in the room, on the phone and over the internet tells us Concrete continues to build momentum and popularity.

To further enhance our contemporary art offerings, we are pleased to announce the launch of Waddington's Contemporary Art Index. This comprehensive database includes auction records, biographies, exhibition news and articles on hundreds of Canadian contemporary artists. The database will be regularly updated.

ContemporaryArtIndex.Waddingtons.ca

Once again, thanks to all who participated in this edition of Concrete Contemporary. We really value your feedback and if you would like to send comments regarding the auctions, please send me an email at skr@waddingtons.ca. We look forward to presenting another tightly focused, curated event in the fall of 2015. More to come.

Results Gallery

Posted: 4/16/2015 9:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects - Contemporary Art Auction Monday 13 April 2015 at 7:00 pm


The spring 2015 Concrete Contemporary auction is our most diverse offering to date. From monumental canvases like our cover lot, John Kissick’s No. 5 (The Order of the Phrases Make...), to Tim Zuck’s small gem, Wing, the sale highlights the eclectic vision of our
country’s most dynamic contemporary artists.

Part of what makes putting together the Concrete auctions so
interesting and such a fulfilling experience, both professionally and personally, is having the chance to live with the work prior to the auction. Our offices have come to life with three meticulously and beautifully rendered works by Toronto’s Angela Leach, known for her optical masterworks. The intense explosion of colours, shapes and lines of Kissick’s commanding canvas has brightened our gallery through this dreary winter, as has the spirited and extreme colours of Melanie Authier’s Catapult of Standby.

Another aspect of this auction is the generosity of notable
photographers Lynne Cohen, Max Dean, Suzy Lake and Ken Lum, whose donated works will be sold to benefit the Scotiabank
CONTACT Photography Festival. All proceeds will go to support the 1500 artists who will participate in the 2015 festival and the public programming associated with the festival.

In appreciation of your continued support of Concrete’s vision, we are pleased to add some special programming to enhance your
experience, starting with a significantly extended preview schedule. The final Sunday of the preview will feature guest speaker Sky
Goodden, one of Canada’s leading contemporary art critics and MOMUS journal founder, as well as a personally guided walkthrough of the gallery. To continue the conversation, the auction itself will be preceded by a wine reception at 6 pm with the sale starting promptly at 7 pm.

We look forward to seeing you – and sincerely hope you enjoy this exceptional offering of art.

View the Gallery

Download the Catalogue (PDF)

View the Virtual Catalogue

Posted: 3/23/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


CONCRETE CONTEMPORARY BLOG WINTER 2015


Here is a solution for those of us struggling to make it through another cold winter. No, it’s not ‘move to Palm Springs’, although that does sound appealing. The answer is, get out and see some great contemporary art! There is so much going on in the art world this winter with Douglas Coupland’s major exhibition on at the ROM and MOCCA, Basquiat at the AGO,and dozens of great shows at contemporary galleries all over the city. Of course, if you are really keen, head to New York for the Armory Show.

Even better, acquire a new work for your winter nest.

The coming months offer great opportunities to acquire inspiring contemporary works in a number of auctions. This week’s Concrete Contemporary online auction features 58 works priced under $5000 by Canadian artists of exceptional accomplishment and stature. The following week Waddington’s annual Fine Prints and Photography auction is packed with over 300 works by major Canadian and international artists. Finally, April 13 is Concrete Contemporary’s live auction of important Canadian Contemporary Art. We are very excited as this auction features major work by luminaries such as John Kissick, Barbara Astman, Angela Leach, Melanie Authier, Tom Hodgson, Wanda Koop, Suzy Lake, Marcel Dzama, Ken Lum, Lynne Cohen, John Scott, Thrush Holmes, General Idea, Kim Dorland, Michael Adamson, Max Dean, Carol Wainio and Micah Lexier, among many others. We think it is our best offering to date and look forward to seeing all this work exhibited together in our gallery.

We are also delighted to announce a partnership with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Works donated to the festival by artists Sebastio Selgado, Lynne Cohen, Martin Parr, Max Dean, Andrew Wright, Philippe Chancel, Ken Lum and Suzy Lake will be offered in the Fine Prints and Photography auction and in Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects live auctions with proceeds going to the festival. CONTACT is the largest photography event in the world, and features over 1500 photographers in over 175 venues throughout the month of May.

Finally, we invite you to attend a guided walkthrough of the Concrete Contemporary collection on Sunday, April 12 at 2pm followed by a discussion with Sky Goodden, one of Canada’s leading art critics and editor of cutting edge art journal MOMUS.

More to come. Stay warm.

SR

Contemporary Art Online Auction, March 2-5, 2015

Contemporary Art Live Auction, Tuesday 13 April, 2015


Posted: 3/2/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


As one auction season ends, another is soon underway…


Upcoming Auction Highlights
2014 was extremely busy at Waddington’s with 21 live auctions, 43 online auctions, several selling exhibitions and numerous fundraising events. Across our various departments we brought together 4,219 successful bidders with over 12,000 lots consigned by 3,039 vendors. And our Canadian art department set 12 new artist’s auction records this year!

Our success in 2014 was in great part due to our diversity of knowledge and experience, and our broad market networks. Waddington’s is well equipped to handle your items not only through our traditional departments, but anything you can challenge us with no matter how unique.

For me, the stand-out items are not always the most valuable ones. In 2014, what I found the most intriguing was The Billy Jamieson Collection of everything macabre, magical and outrageous – including a wooden New Guinea cannibal fork, a 19th c human tooth necklace, a pair of Houdini’s handcuffs and a commemorative slice of Jumbo the Elephant’s tusk originally presented to Mrs. P.T. Barnum.

Other 2014 auction highlights were a 16th c gilt bronze Buddha, a stone sculpture by Inuit artist Davidialuk depicting the story of Katyutayuuq, a rare set of 12 Imperial Russian dinner plates, a 19th c Napoleonic chess set depicting the Battle of Algiers, Sir Isaac Brock's Knighthood Commission document, an Elizabethan (1580) silver-mounted Tigerware jug, an Andy Warhol portrait of Karen Kain, and an important J.E.H MacDonald oil sketch for a major AGO collection canvas.  Now how’s that for diversity!

Spring 2015 will see Waddington’s offer yet another unique collection to complement our traditional department offerings: 250 pieces from the ‘FXSMITH Studio Collection’ including movie costumes and props from films like The X Men series and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. 

We invite you to be part of our Spring 2015 season and to consider a consignment opportunity with us. Whether live, online or through private sale, we can provide the best forum to buy or sell.

Winter 2015 Newsletter (PDF)

Spring 2015 Auction and Consignment Schedule (PDF)

— Duncan McLean
President

Posted: 1/26/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Duncan McLean


IN MEMORY OF TOLLER CRANSTON


(1949 – 2015)

Toller Cranston lived in a grand Victorian home on Pembroke Street in downtown Toronto in the 1980s. Waddington’s was on Queen Street East at that time – on the other side of Moss Park, a short walk away. Toller was a regular at all our auctions, which in those days included twice-weekly estate auctions offering anything and everything to be found in a home. Toller was always on the hunt for the wild, the colourful, the outrageous, the beautiful and anything over the top. His favourite expression when he saw something he had to have was: “It’s beyond the beyond!” Pieces Toller had to have included an Italian Murano green glass indoor fountain that was destined for his bay window (where it actually worked once installed); a huge black metal sculpture of a flying raven; as well as every antique, carved wood cherub he could find.

One evening, I was hanging out with Toller and Bill Kime, another friend from Waddington’s, at his home. In our conversation Toller declared that it was time for him to start selling a few pieces to help spark a change in his life. This was during a difficult period for Toller, in the twilight of his skating career, and feeling unappreciated by the art world. (I remember a large canvas he had recently painted of classically Victorian dressed skaters on a frozen outdoor pond. On a hill next to the pond, a sinister-looking tree with another skater hanging by the neck from a branch over the frozen pond. That was Toller – dramatic and dark-humoured.)

Bill suggested that the best way to sell his pieces was not a few at a time, but all at once as a big event that would generate excitement; create a buzz in Toller’s world of art and entertainment. Toller loved the theatre of big events – and he was immediately excited by the prospect. In June 1991, after many days of working closely with Toller to catalogue the collection and produce a catalogue, Waddington’s offered the contents of his three-story house over a three-session auction. Invitations to the preview party were highly sought. Fans, collectors, voyeurs and media spilled out our front doors the evening of the first auction. And as predicted, the sale of his home and its contents allowed him to “reinvent himself”. Toller bought a magnificent estate in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico’s artist colony, where many ex-pat Canadians including Leonard Brooks and Toller’s good friend Gary Slipper were already settled. A new chapter of his life.

The reality is, Toller had already reinvented himself several times – from virtuoso world-champion skater, to caustic commentator to devoted coach – Toller had pushed the limits of a restrictive sport at every leap and turn. As a painter, Toller’s work was like his artistry on ice. Graceful, sensual, provocative, at times dark, or exploding with colour and energy. Defying tradition and eschewing conformity.

Toller lived large. He craved attention and appreciation, but he also spoke the truth as he saw it – which often landed him on the wrong side of the establishment. He had a wicked sense of humour and could slay his critics with a mere word or two. Toller was brilliant. He should be honoured as one of Canada’s most remarkable creative forces for changing the Canadian landscape in so many ways. Toller was a friend. He was generous, he was fun, he was both a social animal and a solitary man, a mercurial temperament who would disappear for months and then return with bravado.

Toller will be missed. By me, by those who had the chance to enter his magical life, and everyone else who will be touched by his creative legacy.

Duncan McLean
27/01/15


This photograph of Toller’s main floor living room was taken by Joy von Tiedemann and used as the auction catalogue cover. It’s a wonderfully mad room that is all Toller.





These images of Toller and his home were simply taken down off his wall to be used in the auction catalogue.





These images are of the auction preview displaying Toller’s immense and diverse collection. Waddington’s gallery had never looked so vibrant, so colourful or so fantastic!



Posted: 1/26/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Duncan McLean


CONCRETE'S YEAR IN REVIEW


The time is upon us to reflect back on a busy year for Concrete. Encouraged by a successful auction last March, we added a second in September but did so with an inspired approach. Thoughtfully curated by Stephen Ranger, this auction offered fewer than 60 lots, but the quality of work presented and the prices realized for works by artists such as Kim Dorland, Angela Leach, and Graham Gillmore indicated to us that we are on the right track in establishing a strong secondary market for Canadian contemporary art.

Now entering Concrete’s fourth year, we can look back and better assess our efforts in navigating the unchartered waters of contemporary art at auction in Canada. We know there is much work to be done, but with goals firmly in place and plenty of perseverance, we hope to echo the proven contemporary markets in cities such as New York and London. We know we have the artistic talent in Canada. We know we are attracting more and more collectors. We know we have the dedication to draw greater local, national, and international interest in Canadian contemporary art. So it is with great anticipation that we welcome 2015 with live and online auctions, informative programming, special events, and selling exhibitions.

After a short break for the holidays, we will be back in full swing in early January collecting consignments for our spring auction scheduled for Monday, April 13th. If you are interested in consigning to our upcoming auctions, please contact Kristin Vance at 416-504-9100 ex. 6178 or kv@waddingtons.ca.





Posted: 12/8/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Kristin Vance


CONCRETE BLOG NOVEMBER 2014


Jaume Plensa, Wonderland
It’s sometimes hard not to be Toronto-Montreal-Vancouver-centric in the art world in Canada, but I had the opportunity to be in Calgary this past weekend to conduct the auction for Calgary Contemporary, the ambitious new project to merge three contemporary art spaces into what was the old Science Centre and Planetarium. I can only say I was incredibly impressed by the energy and commitment to contemporary art, as evidenced by the sold-out event and the strength of the prices achieved at the live auction.

One of the things that most impressed me was the diverse nature of the buyers at the auction. There were certainly some established collectors (it’s always good to see old friends on their home turf), but in many instances they were getting outbid by younger collectors, who despite the steep prices, stayed in the game, determined to acquire the work.

Needless to say, this is Canada and no one overpays for Canadian art, but our national pricing modesty notwithstanding, retail prices and above were paid for works by Douglas Coupland, Kent Monkman, Fred Herzog, Adad Hannah, Ryan Slugett, Tim Zuck and Ed Burtynsky among other notable artists.

While it may seem cliché to say that Calgary is booming, it actually couldn’t be more true. There is a huge commitment to public art and art education; more galleries are opening as are leading-edge private art institutions like the Esker Foundation. Oil money is fueling great new buildings (pun intended) such as the Foster-designed Bow Centre and the recently completed Peace Bridge by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Even the New York Times is taking notice, describing a “creative transformation” of the city in a recent laudatory article. Richard Florida was on hand for the gala on Saturday promoting his new book and speaking about the rise of the “creative class” in Calgary and the transformation of its cultural economy.

It was inspiring to be a part of this “can do” spirit, if only for a weekend. I look forward to reporting more on future art safaris to Calgary. I am sure next time I visit, it will have transformed once again.

Posted: 11/4/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


Concrete Contemporary Art Auction Results


It began with a champagne reception, set amidst 54 amazing lots on our gallery walls, and ended with a full house of enthusiastic collectors. September 23rd marked the highly anticipated second Concrete Contemporary live auction of the year and was highlighted by the inclusion of major Canadian artists such as Michael Adamson, James Lahey, Kim Dorland, whose Dripping Dream #2 realized $18,000 and Tim Zuck, whose Untitled #72 sold for $16,800. Immediately following the Concrete auction we transformed the gallery space for the 21st annual Art With Heart auction preview and reception. Benefiting Toronto’s Casey House, this auction raised a stunning $700,000 on October 7th with all 86 lots selling.

We are eagerly anticipating this fall’s art fairs in Toronto, specifically Feature Contemporary Art Fair (October 23-26 at the Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre) and the Art Toronto International Art Fair (October 24-27 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre). Exclusively comprised of contemporary art, the Feature art fair promises to be an exciting mix of established and new artists’ work represented by many of Toronto’s foremost contemporary art galleries. The fair will host tours and numerous talks with distinguished panelists who will address a variety of topics on contemporary art. Our own Stephen Ranger, along with consummate collectors Marshall Webb, Jacques Bernier, and moderator Sara Angel, will discuss the North American contemporary art market at the “The Ever-Evolving Art Market” talk on October 26th at 3 pm. The Art Toronto International Art Fair, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, will no doubt excite, entice and entertain attendees with fabulous traditional and new media art as well guided tours and discussions led by leading art experts. We will certainly be visiting the fairs, likely more than once!

Looking forward, we are beginning preparations for our spring 2015 Concrete Contemporary Art auction which will feature works by Wanda Koop, James Lahey, Angela Leach, Kim Dorland and many others. We will keep you updated as we continue to accept consignments!

Kristin Vance
Concrete Contemporary
Posted: 10/23/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Kristin Vance


Concrete - September 2014. Catalogue Available


Having said goodbye to August, everyone is talking about “the summer that wasn’t”. The usual indicators like 40 degree humidex, power outages and sunburns were replaced by rained-out cottage weekends, turning the furnace on and purchases of fleece hoodies. Did anyone recognize July and August as summer months this year? That said, regardless of the weather, summer is always a great time of year at Waddington’s, because that’s when we wrap up our spring season (note: our spring 2014 was amazing) and ramp up for our fall auctions. And fall 2014 takes off like Labour Day fireworks.

In fact – September and October are jam-packed. We’re involved in three major auctions all within a three-week period, starting with the Canadian Art Gallery Hop on September 18, followed by our Concrete Contemporary Art auction on September 23, and finishing with Casey House Art with Heart on October 7. All three auctions are very different in tone and style and we are delighted to be at the centre of it all. It seems like Canada finally now has a contemporary auction season all it’s own!

Before you know it, we’ll all be meeting again at the Toronto International Art Fair on October 23, the Introducing Suzy Lake show at the AGO on November 5, or at the opening of the Jack Bush retrospective at the National Gallery in Ottawa on November 12, then back of course to Waddington’s for our Canadian Art auction on November 24. In between, there are more openings at more galleries that you really must see than there are days in the week.

There truly is no end of things to do until the new year. So, all the energy you saved not golfing, camping or beaching this non-summer can be poured into exploring every aspect of an amazing fall art season. We look forward to running into you at one of the many events that make this city such a great and vibrant centre of culture!

SR

Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects September catalogue is now available in print and online. If you wish to order a hard copy, contact Kristin Vance at kv@waddingtons.ca.
Posted: 8/28/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


Concrete Contemporary Art Auction September 23, 2014


KELLY MARK
THE KISS
archival durotrans print mounted into aluminum light box with LEDs
24 ins x 32 ins x 5.5 ins;
61 cms x 81.3 cms x 13.9 cms

Once a year is not enough! Promising to be one of our most interesting and diverse Concrete Contemporary auctions to date, our second live auction this year is slated for September 23rd and will include some of Canada’s most influential contemporary artists. Conceptual in nature, colourful in design and powerful in the national and international art markets, works by artists such as Michael Adamson, Douglas Coupland, James Lahey, Kelly Mark, and Kim Dorland will be on the block for seasoned collectors and for those who are just discovering the abundant talent emerging from studios across the country. September’s auction will feature approximately 50 lots covering the spectrum of contemporary media.

Here’s a sneak peek!

Mimicking the glow of a television screen, Kelly Mark’s lightbox entitled The Kiss was adapted from her installation by the same name and is selected for the cover of our September auction catalogue. The effects of digital technology on society has long been an inspiration for Mark’s multi media works. The image within the lightbox, two television screens “kissing,” comments on aspects of digital media in our lives and the human interaction it sometimes succeeds in replacing. Of course, the influence of Brancusi’s The Kiss cannot be denied. With each successive version he created of this subject, the forms became more abstracted until only the most basic and simplified concept of this most human of acts remained. Kelly Mark’s The Kiss will be the third artwork by the artist auctioned by Concrete Contemporary and we are thrilled to have this conceptually intriguing example of her digital explorations in our upcoming auction.

KIM DORLAND
DRIPPING DREAM #2
oil and acrylic gouache on canvas over wood panel signed, titled and dated 2013 on the reverse; signed, titled and dated on the overflap
60 ins x 72 ins;
152.4 cms x 182.9 cms
JAMES LAHEY, R.C.A.
ORCHID
mixed media on canvas signed, titled, dated 2004 and inscribed “040824-04” on the reverse
72 ins x 48 ins;
182.9 cms x 121.9 cms











Kim Dorland’s Dripping Dream #3 was a highlight of Waddington’s Canadian Fine Art auction on May 26th and sold for a record $23,600, solidifying his standing as one of Canada’s preeminent contemporary artists. Another work in this series, Dripping Dream #2 is an electrifying display of colour and conceptual depth embedded in copious amounts of paint for which Dorland is known worldwide. Additionally, Dorland’s Sad Girl, a highly abstracted portrait of the artist’s wife, will be included in the auction showing his signature style as adapted to the portrait genre.

An estate consignment has yielded a remarkable James Lahey canvas for the auction, Orchid (2004). Standing in front of Lahey’s Orchid is a breathtaking experience. The hyper-realistic orchid seems to be floating in endless space in this large-scale and stunningly luminous painting. Lahey’s highly-detailed floral paintings are but one example of his broad interest in various subject matter. He is also known for his exquisite cloudscapes, landscapes and colour-rich abstractions.

We are currently accepting consignments to round out what is destined to be a stellar auction. If you would like to discuss a consignment or if you have any questions regarding the works offered in September, please call Stephen Ranger (Senior Specialist, Contemporary Art) at 416-504-6194 or skr@waddingtons.ca or Kristin Vance (Contemporary Art Administrator) at 416-504-9100 ext. 6178 or kv@waddingtons.ca.


Concrete Contemporary Art Auction Schedule

Consignment Deadline: Friday 15 August

Auction Preview:
Saturday 20 September from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday 21 September from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monday 22 September from 10:00 am to 12 Noon

Auction: Tuesday 23 September 2014 at 7:00pm


Posted: 6/23/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Kristin Vance


Specialists' Preview - Spring 2014 Auction Highlights
April 3 – 8, 2014


Sometimes what’s old is truly new again. Traditionally, Waddington’s held our much anticipated Fine Art Auctions bi-annually, a dedicated week of previewing and selling the best we had to offer for that season from all our departments. Previewed as an enormous mix of wonderful and eclectic, rare and beautiful, classically traditional and wildly eccentric, there was something for everyone and for every taste. As all our departments grew, it became unwieldy to organize all our auctions and previews into the same time period. Spreading the auctions throughout the spring was more manageable, and the departments began to conduct business more autonomously, focused on their core proven markets and clients.

Fast forward ten years and we see an evolution in market tastes and buying trends. Today, fewer people collect as a hobby in pursuit of objects from a narrow, focused area of interest. Nowadays people are more likely to collect to decorate their home or business – and they’re much more willing to mix cultures, textures and periods to create an individualized environment. In reflection, our traditional preview settings more suited to the current more diversified market. They made it easy to imagine how things would look in situ – how an English highland painting might look beside the Sorel Etrog sculpture already in your home, how the clean and powerful lines of an Inuit sculpture could complement your Group of Seven canvas. How a delicate Chinese vase is flattered by art deco bronze figures and English silver candle sticks. It was almost like looking at the pages of a décor magazine.

So we’re borrowing from the past. We’re bringing back the multi-department preview to demonstrate how great but different art can blend together. Our specialists (some of the best in the world in their various categories of expertise) have handpicked their favourite items from their spring season auctions. The most interesting, most eclectic, and in some cases the most valuable, to be previewed together in our gallery in one glorious display. And to further enhance the experience, we’ve also invited Farrow & Ball to be part of the display, weaving in the colour palette and wallpaper highlights from their spring season.

We look forward to sharing some of our favourite things with you.

Please be sure to visit April 3 – 8.

Posted: 3/31/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Duncan McLean


Interview with Stephen Ranger by Phil Anderson, Artoronto.ca



P.A.: What was the inspiration or idea behind starting Concrete Contemporary?

S.R.: Concrete Contemporary was formed because we perceived a need in the marketplace for a secondary market for contemporary Canadian art. The idea behind it is actually quite simple. A strong secondary market encourages sales at the primary level and vice versa. Our thinking was also guided by the reality that virtually every other important cultural centre in the world has a thriving contemporary market at both primary and secondary levels, but not so in Canada. Respect for artists, commitment to client education and development, and highly professional presentation of the work are the cornerstones we have built the auctions around.

P.A.: What do you think collectors and buyers are looking for when they seek out contemporary art ? Are they looking for an investment or is a more compulsive purchase?

S.R.: Collectors and buyers have a huge range of motivations. Some just want something pretty for over the sofa, while others are more scholarly and cerebral in their approach. As any gallerist will tell you, true ‘collectors’, in the more traditional sense are very few and far between. Our approach is to make the auctions accessible to as wide a public as possible, while keeping the quality of work we offer extremely high. The basic criteria for the sale is that we will offer work by artists at all stages of their careers who have a history of exhibitions in both the private and public sphere. While we do include some young and emerging artists, we realize there are many who will not be well served by having work at auction at this stage of their careers.

Lot 42: Jeremy Smith, Early Morning, Kitchener. Est. $25000-30000. Realised: $24000

P.A.: Do you think Canadian collectors are getting more art savvy?

S.R.: Canadian collectors are like most collectors, passionate and savvy. No one likes to feel they have overpaid for work, yet many are very willing to go over estimate to purchase something that is meaningful to their collection. Some collectors have expressed to me how great it was to see early work by artists that they currently collect; how it rounds out their collection. Galleries tend to be focused on what an artist is doing now and not necessarily on what has come before, so in this sense, the auctions present an opportunity for many collectors to explore the back catalogue of an artist.

P.A.: Are Canadian contemporary artists starting to become more collectable internationally?

S.R.: The answer to this question is that relatively few Canadian artists have international markets, but this is beginning to change. That being said, most markets around the world are regional. Think how few Canadians collect Australian contemporary work, or even Latin American art. We shouldn’t view our successes abroad, or what is perceived as lack of success, through the lens of the market for global superstars like Damien Hirst, who have effectively established themselves as brands like Prada and Gucci. Where I see change coming is in the international embrace of artists like Brian Jungen, Jeff Wall and David Altmejd whose work rarely if ever comes to auction in Canada. The profile gained by artists like Shary Boyle and Rebecca Belmore through international biennales can’t be undersold either. The more our dealers put their artists out there and bring them to international fairs, the more overall success we will see.

Read the entire article...

(Photo: Stephen Ranger founder of Concrete Contemporary. Photographer: Steve Stober)
Posted: 3/28/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


Concrete Contemporary Auctions & Projects


Our commitment to offering contemporary Canadian art at auction continues to be a labour of love – our third annual Concrete Contemporary auction held in early March was a stunning presentation of some of the best of Canadian art. And of paramount delight, we welcomed many art enthusiasts new to Waddington’s over the course of record attendance at our weekend previews, the opening reception, and a full room at auction time.

What made it successful for us? We sold more contemporary work than ever before, at a higher average lot price, and with increased participation from buyers across the country. All success factors fundamental to our commitment to creating a solid secondary market for contemporary Canadian art.

This auction also fed our penchant to push buttons: the oft-provocative Femmarte Collection was an exhilarating addition to what was our most diverse offering of work. In its totality, the auction reflected the dynamism and importance of what is happening today in Canadian art.

Personally, building each Concrete Contemporary Auction has been an all-encompassing, sometimes all-consuming, but always thoroughly rewarding experience. I play a multitude of roles from beginning to end – starting with that of a quasi-curator: assembling the various works; mindful of what pieces complement or contradict, which artists are on the rise, or we believe are about to. Once the roster of art is established, and while the catalogue is being created, I’m focused on developing relationships with the artists, galleryists, collectors and enthusiasts in the promotional stages. Finally comes the honour of being the auctioneer, the person who hammers down “sold!” Or, makes a quiet note when the lot does not sell. (BTW - Being an auctioneer is one of my favourite roles. When I’m selling an auction like Concrete Contemporary, it’s the fulfillment of many months of hard work; no one knows the art at this point better than I do. I equally love my role as auctioneer for charitable events like Casey House, when I know my efforts will positively impact a cause I believe in.) Finally, my role shifts to that of pragmatic strategist: post-auction discussions with vendors and buyers, sometimes negotiating an after-sale, analysis with my colleagues and a day or so later – plans begin for the next auction.

That being said, I’m sussing out what our next auction of contemporary Canadian art will look like. When we first launched our contemporary Canadian art division, it was at a time when the industry was being told if “Canadian auctioneers are serious in their talk about contemporary or at least post-Second World War consignments being the Future, they’re going to have to dedicate more time, imagination and resources to it.” Starting with our inaugural auction in 2012, that’s exactly what we’re doing and what we plan to do again, same time next year. As Globe and Mail arts journalist James Adams said in 2012: “An urban and urbane country like Canada deserves an auction market reflecting that”.

Globe & Mail
Is Canada’s art market ready to grow up?


Posted: 3/5/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


CONCRETE Contemporary Art Auction - March 4


Our Concrete Contemporary Auction tonight features over 120 lots and is our most diverse offering to date. With work ranging from conceptual, large scale works by Robert Fones to Montreal street artist, Stikki Peaches, there is bound to be something to engage, delight and challenge you.

We are proud to announce that Concrete Contemporary has been to chosen to auction the Femmarte Collection. Formed in 2004, the collection was assembled over a five-year period by a group of 30 women to encourage and promote the work of women artists in Canada. Curated by Gerda Neubacher, the collection features work by artists as notable as Shari Boyle, Annie Pootoogook, Sarah Anne Johnston, Barbara Cole and a host of other important artists. Many of the images are up on the site already.

The catalogue is posted online and print versions are available at the gallery.

Auction Tuesday March 4, 7 pm

Please contact either myself or Kristin Vance (kv@waddingtons.ca) if you need additional information on individual works or the auction. We are also always available for private preview by appointment.

We will be posting lots on Twitter in the coming days so please give us a follow @waddingtons275 or @sranger.




Posted: 2/27/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects

Canadian Contemporary Art Auction

Catalogue Available


This is the third auction of Canadian Contemporary Art presented by Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects and we are, once again, buoyed by the quality of work we are able to offer by artists from coast to coast to coast.

The vision of Concrete Contemporary remains the same – to build a vibrant secondary market for Canadian Contemporary Art by offering works by leading artists, most of whom have extensive exhibition history in both the public and private sphere. The Concrete Contemporary platform also allows us to incorporate the work of emerging artists, whose practice has yet to come to critical notice, yet has garnered significant grass roots interest.

Concrete Contemporary also remains dedicated in our support for the arts community by sponsoring two prizes of note this year. For the third year in a row, we sponsored the Best Conceptual Work for Photography at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery’s RMG Exposed fundraiser. This year’s winner is Carolyn Doucette for her work Cruising the Inside Passage: Glacier Bay. Concrete Contemporary also sponsored the Atlantic Canada Student Art Prize, a juried prize that featured works from all the art colleges across Canada’s East Coast. The winner this year was Nova Scotia College of Art and Design student Jose Andres Mora for his video work, Mouth Piece.

We are delighted that this auction includes works from an important initiative created by women, in support of women – the Femmarte Collection. This prestigious collection of women's art, exclusively by contemporary Canadian women artists, was assembled by a private women’s investment club, held for a period of ten years and is now being offered at auction, with 20% of the profits paid to the artists. With a vision that parallels Concrete Contemporary’s belief in the Canadian Contemporary art market, the Femmarte investors were motivated to:

• To invest in the art of women artists with particular emphasis on the art of
Canadian artists and emerging contemporary talent;
• To build a prestigious art collection, recognized for its artistic excellence and
innovation; and
• To contribute to the artistic reputation and commercial marketability of
young artists

It is understatement to say that the Femmarte Collection is extremely diverse, featuring significant works by leading women Canadian artists.
Femmarte curator Gerda Neubacher exalts us “to be daring”. And in her words, we “thank you for joining us on this adventure to support Canadian artists.” We look forward to seeing you at the previews and most importantly, at the auction.

Download the Catalogue (PDF)

View the Online Gallery

— Stephen Ranger
Senior Specialist, Contemporary Art
Posted: 2/24/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


CONCRETE CONTEMPORARY BLOG JANUARY 2014


Despite the deep cold that makes us want to hunker down and hibernate til Spring, the start of the year is exciting for us as we prepare for our March 4 Concrete Contemporary auction.

Studio visits with artists and consultations with a myriad of collectors and art lovers all come together while we assemble the works for the sale. And with the success achieved in Canadian contemporary art in 2013, we’re especially looking forward to presenting our next Concrete Contemporary event.

January 2014 also brings us our first retail Pop Up Exhibition: Gary Taxali, Shanti Town, January 30 through February 9. An exciting new concept in Canada, selling exhibitions are becoming increasingly popular in the international auction world. Waddington’s presentation of Shanti Town will be a Canadian first.

Whether we know it or not, we are probably all familiar with the work of Gary Taxali. If you’ve ever picked up an issue of the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Time, Esquire or Playboy magazines, you’ve likely seen his work. On pocket squares, coins and album covers, Taxali’s work is all around us – and around the world with exhibitions across the globe, most notably in London, New York (including commissions from the Whitney Museum) and Hong Kong.

What makes Taxali’s work so compelling? His imagery engages us with both a sense of nostalgia, as well as basic truths about our lives. Depression-era figures juxtaposed with text that slyly and humorously define how we really think and feel are subtly rendered on vintage paper in pen, acrylic and a variety of media. Taxali captures an alt zeitgeist that connects with the viewer on very elemental levels. He is also a thoroughly modern-day artist; his work finds it way into non-traditional channels: silk pocket squares designed for men’s retailer Harry Rosen; his album cover design and artwork for Aimee Mann’s 2009 @#%&*! Smilers garnered a Grammy Award nomination and in 2012 he was commissioned by the Royal Canadian Mint to create a series of six limited-edition 25-cent coins. Taxali is a happily busy man. I think you can see why we were so excited to work with Gary for our inaugural Pop Up Exhibition.

For details on the opening January 30 and the gallery dates and times, please click here.

Looking back, 2013 was a great year for contemporary art in Canada. Some of the landmark exhibitions included Micah Lexier at The Power Plant, Kim Dorland at the McMichael Gallery and Ed Burtynsky, pretty much everywhere, all contributed to a sense of vibrancy and energy. Canadian artists shone on the international stage with Shary Boyle’s installation at the Venice Biennale, and many artists exhibiting at fairs around the world. We look forward to more of the same for 2014.

Important Dates:

Gary Taxali Pop Up Retail Exhibition – January 30 – February 9
Concrete Contemporary Art Auction – March 4
(Deadline for consignments January 31)


Posted: 1/31/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


CONCRETE BLOG OCTOBER 2013


The fall always seems like the beginning of a new year, far more than bleak January. It’s not just kids getting back to school or crisp fall breezes, it’s more like a resurgence of energy that comes with the weeks following the dog days of August - not that we had any time to dog it at Waddington’s this summer. There was just too much to do and prepare for an incredibly busy fall season.

If you follow this site you will know there have been some important changes here, most notably the arrival (or return) of Linda Rodeck, to head up our Fine Art department and the re-branding of Joyner Waddington’s to Waddington’s Canadian Fine Art. Linda and her team are near completion of the fall catalogue. There will be lots to highlight in the upcoming weeks.

Certainly one of the major highlights of the fall is the auction of Charles Bronfman’s Claridge Collection of Canadian Fine and Decorative Arts to be held in two sessions on November 6 at 1 and 7 pm. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Historica Canada.

This auction is important for a number of reasons, most notably it features many artists whose work has never been sold before at auction. It also places a very serious highlight on artists working in what has been referred to as Decorative Art. It has been a real pleasure to see so much great work by artists working in glass, ceramics and textiles as well as paint and canvas. The collection was curated and assembled over many years by Franklin Silverstone, the Bronfman family’s long time curator and advisor. His impeccable eye is attested to by the shear number of Saidye Bronfman and Governor Generals award recipients included in the collection. Waddington’s has prepared a state of the art auction catalogue as well as a reference catalogue of artist biographies that will become the standard for scholarship for years to come.

The Claridge Collection catalogues are available now at our galleries or may be viewed online at http://www.waddingtons.ca/decorative/auctions-17.

From October 15-19 Concrete Contemporary will hold a pop up exhibition of Max Dean’s Objects Waiting series in association with the Nicholas Metivier Gallery. This series was purchased in it’s entirety by the National Gallery of Canada when first exhibited at Metivier gallery in 2012. Max Dean is an important Canadian artist perhaps best known for his Robotic Chair. Max works in an incredible variety of media, has been collected worldwide and represented Canada at the Venice Bienale. This exhibition represents a great opportunity to acquire these photo based pieces from an important body of work. For more information on Max Dean, please see http://metiviergallery.com/artists/max-dean/bio.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Casey House Art with Heart auction and Waddington’s is proud once again to host the exhibition and previews from October 3-6. This year’s selection is stunning, maybe the best yet (although every year I do seem to say that!). Please stop by over the weekend and view the exhibition or check the catalogue out online at artwithheart.ca.

Please stay tuned, there is always more to come.

Stephen Ranger
Posted: 10/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


CONCRETE CONTEMPORARY BLOG MAY 21,2013


I don’t often write about specific works coming up in benefit auctions I am involved in, but sometimes there have to be exceptions. In this case it is a work by Peter Doig, Cyril’s Bay, an oil on paper, that will be sold tomorrow night at the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s Gala at the Corus Centre.

Scottish born, raised in Trinidad and Canada, art education in the UK, worked in Montreal, now living in Trinidad, it is hard for Canada to claim him as our own, where it not for the ubiquity of the canoe in his subject matter. His seminal work, Canoe Lake, carries very specific and obvious cultural references for Canadians. Whether Doig self identifies as a Canadian or not is hardly the point, what is however is the importance of his work. Few painters working today achieve such resonance with such minimalist gestures as Doig. He offers the viewer a new way of looking at the world, unique and at times unsettling. One senses deep magic there. His major works now sell for millions at auction and his gallery shows in New York and London tend to sell out.

There has only been one other work by Doig sold at auction in Canada, a work sold to benefit autism, several years ago. The fact that Waterkeeper’s have secured this work is certainly a coup, courtesy of the artist’s generosity.

With an estimate in the range of $40,000, it is a fantastic opportunity for a local collector to acquire a work by this major artist, that is unless the word is out there in the larger world already. We have the piece at Waddington’s for the next two days. Please send me an email if you would like more information.

SR
Posted: 5/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


CONCRETE CONTEMPORARY BLOG MAY 2013


I have just returned from two days in New York City where I had the opportunity to take in the previews for the major spring auctions of Contemporary Art at Christie’s and Phillips. To describe the work on offer as anything less than spectacular would be to sell it short. Jackson Pollock’s Number 19, 1948, one, if not the highlight of the season, is a jaw dropping, powerful work and standing in front of the painting one could not help but feel the manic yet focused energy of the artist in full flight.

I was in the city to lead a group of people from Vienna on a daylong art tour of New York, the day before the Frieze art fair opened. My task was to put together a diverse and engaging experience for this marvelous group of knowledgeable and art passionate people. We started at Christie’s stunning Rockefeller Plaza premises the morning of the Evening Impressionist and Modern sale, taking in the previews and getting a behind the scenes look at a private selling exhibition of Picasso’s on the second floor of the galleries. We then journeyed up Park Avenue to Phillip’s new headquarters to survey the Day and Evening sales of Contemporary Art. The highlight lot, Andy Warhol’s Four Marilyns, 1962, occupied it’s own little prayer niche in their galleries not so subtlety befitting it’s ‘estimate on request’ of $25,000,000/35,000,000. The Day Sale of Contemporary Art, on view at the same time, offered a wide range of work by artists both iconic and emerging. I was struck not just by the quality of the work, but also by the ‘edginess’ of the offering. The range of media was highly diverse video, new media, high concept installation work as well as more traditional forms of artistic expression all represented. It made me really think that auction houses in Canada can certainly start pushing the boundaries of what we offer our clients, as we work towards developing a secondary market for contemporary work in this country.

We then trooped across the street to visit the Howard Greenberg Gallery in the Fuller Building, the legendary photography dealer. Howard Greenberg and Nancy Lieberman treated us to a great talk on the market for classic photography and we took in the current show at the gallery, ‘1963’, which focuses on images depicting the potent forces of civil unrest, politics, art and culture, all brewing in America during the sixties and the pivotal year of 1963.

Our last stop was at the David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea where, two hours before the official opening, an array of handlers were still setting up and installing the new Jeff Koons show, Gazing Ball. Associate Director, Veronique Ansorge took us first through the Richard Serra exhibition in the West 20th Street gallery. The show was comprised of familiar Serra objects broken down into component parts, Serra deconstructed as it were, and on an intimate scale.

Koons’ exhibition is typically monumental - large scale plasters of classical figures as well as familiar cartoon like characters and everyday objects, each installed with, or holding a dark blue, mirrored glass globe. The work is un-ironic, accessible and expensive. Each piece is produced in an edition of three and priced at around $1.4 million dollars, which may prove to be a bargain according to the gallery. Many of the works were already pre-sold to collectors. The Zwirner Gallery’s space is massive, providing a classical museum-like feel for this show, one of the highlights of the New York spring season.

I have attached a link to a great piece about Koons in this week’s issue of New York magazine that deftly profiles the art worlds’ polarized views on the artist.

http://www.vulture.com/2013/05/age-of-jeff-koons.html

Samuel Johnson famously said, ‘If you are tired of London you are tired of life’. The same could so easily be said of New York.

Our spring fine art season starts later than usual this year with the Joyner Canadian Fine Art auction on June 3. Please try and make it by for the previews, it is a terrific sale.

SR
Posted: 5/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


An exhibition of works by Chen Jiagang & He Chongyue


It has been just over three weeks since the Concrete Contemporary auction and we are pleased to announce another great project that is in the works. From April 8-19, 2013, Waddingtons.ca, in partnership with the Han Art Gallery of Montreal, will showcase Chinese contemporary artists Chen Jiagang and He Chongyue.

Born in Sichuan, China in 1962, Chen Jiagang trained as an architectural designer before opening several private contemporary art museums in the late 1990s. Chen has been recognized by the United Nations for his contribution to architecture and was the recipient of the “Outstanding Young Architect” award in 1999. In Chen’s photography, young women dressed in traditional cheong-sam are situated within the Chinese landscape and amongst industrial sites. The result is a fusion of the raw and beautiful, decrepit and serene and lost and present. Chen’s works are celebrated internationally and are collected by major private and public institutions including the MoMA, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Art Gallery of Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing.

Born in 1960, He Chongyue uses a large-frame (4x10) camera to photograph ancient Chinese architectural forms. The works displayed within this exhibition capture what is known as “the propaganda wall” that functioned as a form of public communication. In this series, He has discreetly placed a mirror into the foreground, displaying the artist’s reflection and capturing the moment of creation. He Chongyue’s work has been exhibited and collected internationally.

Both artists explore China’s history, producing images of individual and generational memory. In this series of photographs, the artists represent a link between China’s past, present, and future, with Chen’s explorations of daily Chinese life and allusions to past glory and He’s dipictions of past political relics.

We are very excited and honoured to be showcasing such wonderful Chinese Contemporary art and hope that you can join us in April at Waddingtons.ca.

Click here to view the online catalogue here

Exhibit: April 9 -12, 15-18, 2013 from 9 am – 5 pm
April 13 – 14, 2013 from 12 pm – 5 pm

Reception: Monday 8 April 2013 from 6pm – 8pm

Location: Waddingtons.ca Galleries, 275 King Street East



Please RSVP to Kate Godin (kg@waddingtons.ca) for the 8 April 2013 reception.

Best Wishes,

SR
Posted: 3/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


CONCRETE BLOG MARCH 2013 #2


We have had a number of questions regarding the meaning of a number of pieces in the last Concrete Contemporary auction. Below, our intern and MFA candidate, Emma Frank, discuses Wanda Koop’s Satellite Cities (2007), one of many highlights from the auction.

The title of Wanda Coop’s Satellite Cities (2007), sold at this year’s Canadian Contemporary Art Auction, is both a literal and poetic description of Koop’s large-scale canvas, which depicts a detached city- scape emanating precariously from an unknown coast. Appearing to hover in a sea of psychedelic lime green paint, this isolated island, outpost or “satellite city” belongs to an un-identifiable location that is at once familiar and alien. In fact, Koop’s “Satellite Cities” belongs to a series of works that were inspired by satellite transmissions of images of the Iraq War. More precisely, the series reflects the interruptions in satellite footage transmitted on networks such as CNN creating corrupted blocks and bands of color, which Koop re-interprets in her paintings. The aerial perspective in this piece is familiar to the viewer, resembling the view from an airplane window however, this is not a leisurely reflection or a romanticized landscape. Like the majority of Koop’s work, this painting is imbued with a critique of technology’s impact on nature as well as how technologies of surveillance impact our experience of the landscape. Featuring abstract and distilled imagery, Satellite Cities is characteristic of Koop’s work over the last 30 years, which features bold color and form, executed with virtuoso brush strokes and daring scale. Satellite Cities demonstrates the Winnipeg-based artist’s ability to create landscapes that resonate both locally and globally. Satellite Cities was also included in Koop’s retrospective exhibition “On the Edge of Experience”, which was organized by the Winnipeg Art Gallery in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada, September 2010 to May 2011.

SKR
Posted: 3/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


CONCRETE BLOG MARCH 2013


It’s the morning after the night before and the dust has yet to settle on the Concrete Contemporary auction last evening.

We were thrilled and gratified to see such a great turnout in the gallery, standing room only, and over 150 registered bidders. We also had absentee and telephone bidders participating from across the country.

The sale total was roughly double from last year’s inaugural auction and the percentage sold by lot increased as well. There are a number of aftersales still to complete and we will post all the prices realized on the website within the next week.

Major highlights of the auction included Wanda Koop’s sensational canvas, Satellite Cities (Yellow/Green with Dark City), that realized $26,400.00, a record for the artists at auction. Tim Zuck’s small charcoal Glacier and Summit/Qheneesh, which soared past it’s estimate to sell for $6000.00 and Michael Adamson’s Homage to Riopelle sell for $12,000.00. (All prices include the buyer’s premium) It was also very gratifying to see the work by Andrew Owen A01, Lilies and Bamboo Excavations II sell for $5760.00 as his work has never before been presented at auction.

We wish to thank all who attended the auction and previews as well as our consignor’s, artists, dealers and collectors who come together to help this dynamic and developing market.

I would like to share a comment sent to me this morning by a highly respected Canadian artist who had work represented in the sale last night.

‘…It's so very important for everyone involved that the market you are developing continues to grow. It benefits everyone and also keeps us on our toes, the invisible hand of the market is one of fine arts very best friends, it is the final forum that separates the wheat from the chaff. Thank you for championing all of us contemporary artists and working so hard to elevate the environment that we work in. I am inspired to work even harder in my studio, thank you again.’

The sale also garnered a lot of media. Here are some links below.

www.cbc.ca

www.theglobeandmail.com

www.thestar.com

There will lots to report in the next while, so please stay well and stay tuned.

SR
Posted: 3/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger

UPCOMING AUCTIONS & EVENTS