Lot # 046
Post-War & Contemporary Art Live auction

William Kurelek
ARCA OC OSA 1927 - 1977 Canadian

Sorry Early Bird
mixed media on board
initialed faintly and on verso titled, dated 1977 on the gallery label and inscribed "circa 1977"
24 x 48 in  61 x 121.9cm

Provenance:
The Isaacs Gallery Ltd., Toronto
Private Collection, Norway

Literature:
William Kurelek, A Prairie Boy’s Winter, 1973, unpaginated

In his book A Prairie Boy’s Winter, William Kurelek took note of the migration habits of crows on the prairies, and included his paintings Crows Leaving Before Winter and Return of the First Crow. He observed, “The crows had been loitering around in great flocks, quarreling, cawing and raiding farmers’ cornfields…They flew south every fall about this time to escape the harsh prairie winter.” In spring, although other birds such as the robin and the prairie horned lark arrive early, for Kurelek, the return of the crow was the most important. He wrote, “Crows came back singly, or in pairs, about the end of March. It was then they were sighted by the children on their way to or from school. The lucky first-sighters threw up their hands, and even their caps, in exultation, chanting, ‘I saw it! I saw it! I saw the first crow! Spring’s here!’ ” Although a harbinger of spring, this crow has found itself back a bit too soon and bows its head against the wind-driven snow – hence Kurelek’s empathetic title, Sorry Early Bird.

This work is in the original frame made by Kurelek.

Estimate: $150,000 ~ $250,000 CAD  

All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

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