LOT 020

1927 - 1977

North American Success Story
mixed media on board
initialed and dated 1973 and on verso titled on the gallery label
17 1/4 x 23 in 43.8 x 58.4 cm

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

Sold for: $73,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Equinox Gallery, Vancouver
Estate of Mary and Harry Klonoff, Vancouver

North American Success Story, at first glance a seemingly uncomplicated image, is a wonderful example of all the elements that make William Kurelek’s work hold our attention and tease us into asking a few questions about his true intent, while admiring his subject. Never shy to reveal his criticism of social inequities and the moral failings of his fellow man, here he paints a pretty picture, but one that is also a comment on the middle-class goals of his era—the nuclear family, the suburban house, and two cars in the driveway. By all accounts, Kurelek likely did not share those ambitions, but in creating the desired frame for this work, he showcases his ability to produce brilliant trompe l’oeil images, while offering another subtle bit of fun for the viewer to discover. In regard to frames, it is notable that the catalogue for the 2011 retrospective exhibition William Kurelek: The Messenger concludes with a chapter titled “The Necessary Frame: William Kurelek as Picture Framer,” a memoir by Brian Dedora. A skilled framer in his own right, Dedora was mentored by the artist when they both worked at the Isaacs Gallery, where Kurelek had started in 1960.

The interior image measures 10 x 15 inches. This work is in the original frame made by Kurelek, as reproduced above.

For the biography on Mary and Harry Klonoff in PDF format please click here.

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business. Bidders must ensure they have satisfied themselves with the condition of the Lot prior to bidding. Condition reports are available upon request.