Maxwell Bennett Bates

Maxwell Bennett Bates - Heffel Gallery

Maxwell Bennett Bates

1906 - 1980
ASA CGP CSGA OC RCA

“I am a product of the period of Art Nouveau, pared down by the prairie wind.”…Maxwell Bates

Born in Calgary in 1906, Bates was one of Canada’s early modernists and one of the most powerful artists of his generation. A painter, printmaker, architect and poet, Bates brought European modernism to western Canada.

Bates’s conservative home city was not receptive to his work, and in 1931 he moved to England where he was more successful, showing at Redfern Gallery and Bloomsbury Galleries within the year, as well as being invited to join the prestigious Twenties Group which showed regularly at the Wertheim Gallery. He enlisted at the onset of the Second World War, and would be captured soon thereafter, spending five years as a prisoner of war at Thuringia. His art from this time is a remarkable reflection on war history.

Freed in 1945, he returned to a more receptive Calgary, where he met fellow modernists Janet Mitchell, Jim and Marion Nicoll and Jock Macdonald. Macdonald established them as the Calgary Group, adding Luke Lindoe and others to the mix. Canadian Art Galleries, Calgary’s first commercial venue, would give Bates solo shows in 1947 and 1948. His work, in which he used altered perspectives, quirky, unusual plays of colour, multiple planes of space, broken up form and dissembled objects focused on Canadian images of Alberta landscapes, working class and farm people, family scenes, social scenes, and still life.

Bates was an important teacher and a pioneer lithographer, and with John Snow brought the first lithographic press to Alberta. Bates studied with Max Beckmann at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in New York, and worked as an architect in Calgary, designing Saint Mary’s Cathedral. His first wife, May, died in 1952, and in 1954 Bates married Charlotte Kintzle. By the mid 1950s Calgary’s artistic leanings were again growing conservative, and when Bates’s Girl with Yellow Hair (Collection of the Glenbow Museum) was sold to the Allied Arts Centre, its modernism created a stir of controversy.

In 1959 the Bates’s left for a European tour and in 1961 moved to Saanich, near Victoria, British Columbia. Here he would meet Herbert Siebner, Myfanwy Pavelic, Karl Spreitz, Richard Ciccimarra, Robin Skelton and other artists who shared his enthusiasm for modern art and would form The Limners, a loose organization of modernists intending to support each other in bringing their work to the public eye. He showed regularly at Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver, in Calgary at Canadian Art Galleries and across Canada. In 1967 he was awarded the Canadian Centennial Medal. He received an LLD from the University of Calgary in 1971, and in 1973 a major exhibition of his work was held at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He published A Wilderness of Days, a memoir of his time as a prisoner of war in 1978, and was awarded the order of Canada in 1980, shortly before his death. His work is represented in numerous public collections in Canada and abroad, including the Tate Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada.

Copyright Heffel Gallery Limited



Heffel's Top Results

Record Maxwell Bennett Bates sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Maxwell Bennett Bates
Reception
30 x 36in 76.2 x 91.4cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $20,000 - $30,000 CDN
Sold for:   $49,725 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fall 2009 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, November 26, 2009



Record Maxwell Bennett Bates sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Maxwell Bennett Bates
The Lonesome Road
36 x 30in 91.4 x 76.2cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $15,000 - $25,000 CDN
Sold for:   $40,950 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Spring 2013 - 1st Session auction on Wednesday, May 15, 2013



Record Maxwell Bennett Bates sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Maxwell Bennett Bates
Victoria Café
24 x 30in 61 x 76.2cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $10,000 - $15,000 CDN
Sold for:   $31,625 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's November 2006 - 3rd Session auction on Saturday, November 25, 2006



Record Maxwell Bennett Bates sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Maxwell Bennett Bates
Brooklyn Tavern
24 x 30in 61 x 76.2cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $12,000 - $16,000 CDN
Sold for:   $26,325 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Spring 2009 - 1st Session auction on Wednesday, June 17, 2009



Record Maxwell Bennett Bates sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Maxwell Bennett Bates
Couple in a Restaurant
20 x 24in 50.8 x 61cm
oil on board

Estimate:  $10,000 - $12,000 CDN
Sold for:   $23,000 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fine Canadian Art Spring 2008 auction on Thursday, May 22, 2008



Record Maxwell Bennett Bates sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Maxwell Bennett Bates
Street Scene
48 x 30in 121.9 x 76.2cm
oil on board

Estimate:  $15,000 - $20,000 CDN
Sold for:   $22,230 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Spring 2011 - 1st Session auction on Tuesday, May 17, 2011



Record Maxwell Bennett Bates sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Maxwell Bennett Bates
A-Go-Go
36 x 48in 91.5 x 122cm
1966
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $20,000 - $25,000 CDN
Sold for:   $19,800 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fall 1997 auction on Thursday, November 06, 1997



Record Maxwell Bennett Bates sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Maxwell Bennett Bates
Portrait of Saul M. Green
30 x 24in 76.2 x 61cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $10,000 - $15,000 CDN
Sold for:   $18,400 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fine Canadian Art Fall 2007 auction on Friday, November 23, 2007



Record Maxwell Bennett Bates sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Maxwell Bennett Bates
Garden Cafe at Empress Hotel
24 x 30in 61 x 76.2cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $15,000 - $20,000 CDN
Sold for:   $17,550 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fall 2012 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, November 22, 2012



Record Maxwell Bennett Bates sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Maxwell Bennett Bates
Family
24 x 29 3/4in 61 x 75.6cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $10,000 - $15,000 CDN
Sold for:   $14,950 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's May 2008 - 1st session auction on Saturday, May 31, 2008


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