Lot # 102
Fall 2017 - 2nd Session Live auction

Walter Joseph (W.J.) Phillips
ASA CPE CSPWC RCA 1884 - 1963 Canadian

Mamalilicoola, BC
colour woodcut on paper 1928
signed in the print and titled Mamililicola [sic]
12 1/8 x 13 7/8 in  30.8 x 35.2cm

Provenance:
By descent to the present Private Collection, Victoria

Literature:
Duncan Campbell Scott, Walter J. Phillips, 1947, reproduced page 19
Walter J. Phillips, Wet Paint, unpublished manuscript, undated, Glenbow Museum archives, M-969-4, described page 104
Michael J. Gribbon, Walter J. Phillips: A Selection of His Works and Thoughts, National Gallery of Canada, 1978, reproduced page 67
Roger Boulet, The Tranquility and the Turbulence, 1981, page 101, reproduced page 100
Roger Boulet, Walter J. Phillips: The Complete Graphic Works, 1981, reproduced page 293
Maria Tippett and Douglas Cole, Phillips in Print: The Selected Writings of Walter J. Phillips on Canadian Nature and Art, Manitoba Record Society, 1982, page 62, reproduced in black and white page xxxix

In 1927, Walter J. Phillips, one of Canada’s finest artists in the mediums of watercolour and printmaking, took his first trip to the west coast of British Columbia, traveling to Alert Bay and its surrounds. Exploring outlying villages such as Mamalilicoola by boat, he was fascinated by these exotic landscapes with their humid, constantly shifting atmospheres and restless clouds. He found Mamalilicoola beautiful, with its stunning view over layers of islands to the snow-capped peaks of Vancouver Island. Hiking to the village from the bay where the boat was moored through a “green twilight” of vegetation as high as his head, Phillips emerged at the dominant feature of this large woodcut, which he described as “a tall and magnificent totem pole. It stood in front of a community house, the pediment of whose façade was carved and painted with an allegorical figure of the sun, flanked by two fishes.” Phillips used white for the beach, as he noted it was covered with broken clam shells. Exploring the village’s totems, house posts and zunuks (single carved figures used for potlatches), he found material for several days of sketching. The West Coast made a deep impression on Phillips, and he stated, “I regretted leaving the coast, and I long to return.” Finely detailed and technically brilliant, Mamalilicoola, BC is considered to be one of Phillips’s most outstanding woodcuts.
This print was produced in an edition of 100.

Estimate: $20,000 ~ $30,000 CAD  
Sold for: $61,250 CAD (including Buyer's Premium)

All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

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