LOT 016

1920 - 2013

Study for Night Walk
ink and acrylic on mat board
dated June 21, 23, 24, 1981 and on verso titled and dated on the labels
9 3/4 x 7 3/4 in, 24.8 x 19.7 cm

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000 CAD

Sold for: $91,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Collection of the Artist
Heffel Gallery Limited, Vancouver
Dr. Ken Dornan, Vancouver
Acquired from the above by the present Private Collection, British Columbia

David Burnett, Colville, 1983, the 1968 pencil drawing Study for Seeing-Eye Dog and Man reproduced page 208
Alex Colville, Heffel Gallery Limited, 1989, reproduced and listed, titled as Night Walk #1, unpaginated

Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Alex Colville: A Retrospective, July 22 - September 28, 1983, traveling in 1983 - 1984 to Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax; Staatliche Kunsthalle, Berlin; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; and Vancouver Art Gallery, catalogue #130 with a smaller portion of this exhibition including study for Night Walk traveling in 1984 - 1985 to the Beijing Exhibition Centre; Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong; Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum; and Canada House, London, catalogue #32
Heffel Gallery Limited, Vancouver, Alex Colville, October 7 - 31, 1989, titled as Night Walk #1, catalogue #15

Mark Cheetham (in the essay for lot 12) states that about a decade previous to the 1981 painting Night Walk, Alex Colville was already working with the concept of blindness, and included a blind man in preparatory studies for the 1976 painting Dog and Bridge. However, he changed his concept to include only the dog – a German shepherd. In Study for Night Walk from 1981, a late-stage ink and acrylic work, Colville includes a different dog from the golden Lab of the final painting Night Walk – the animal from Dog and Bridge. This choice is made clear in a 1968 pencil drawing, an early idea for Dog and Bridge, which depicts the German shepherd.

It is fascinating to see how Colville experimented with parallel ideas for his blind man over time, and in this work we see the echo of his previous idea in the breed of the dog. In Study for Night Walk, the setting is the same as the painting – the wall of rich green vegetation and the lamp standard illuminating the scene - but the man faces forward, led by the alert and focused dog. It is less obvious that he is blind, as his face is seen from the side – the viewer is only made aware of the fact by the dog’s harness. Study for Night Walk is a rare alternative image, an extraordinary drawing that reveals Colville’s rich and inventive imagination, always experimenting with his ideas and carefully honing them.

Accompanying this lot are the catalogue from the 1989 Heffel Gallery exhibition in which this work was included and David Burnett’s 1983 book, Colville.

There is a preparatory drawing on verso.

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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