LOT 006

William Kurelek
ARCA OC OSA
1927 - 1977
Canadian

Chasing a Chicken
mixed media on board
initialed and dated 1976 and on verso titled
8 x 8 in 20.3 x 20.3 cm

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

Sold for: $37,250

Preview at:

PROVENANCE
Loch Mayberry Fine Art Inc., Winnipeg
Private Collection, Winnipeg

LITERATURE
William Kurelek, A Prairie Boy’s Winter, 1973, a very similar work entitled Chasing a Chicken in the Snow reproduced, unpaginated


William Kurelek grew up in a hard-working Ukrainian immigrant family on farms on the Prairies, principally in Manitoba, north of Winnipeg. He wrote and illustrated A Prairie Boy’s Winter, which portrayed everyday life on the farm. Both this charming work and lot 7 in this sale are almost identical to two works in this book. They are painted with fine attention to detail and show Kurelek’s consummate sense of storytelling. Kurelek and his siblings had demanding chores, but they found the antics of the animals they cared for humorous. He described this particular scene as follows (using third person for himself):

“Another chore that the children helped with was cleaning chicken manure out of the coop…Usually a fresh sunny day was chosen for the job. Chickens are jumpy. If anyone cleaning under them makes an unexpected move, the whole flock will fly into the air. One chicken might even fly out the door to the glistening snow. Then, William’s mother would yell, ‘William! Winnie! Come here, catch the one that got away.’ The best you can do, as William found out from experience, is to keep the chicken moving until it is worn out. Then you hedge in, and pounce!”

—William Kurelek, A Prairie Boy's Winter


Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars


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