LOT 001

1909 - 1976

Two Ships Cruising in Fine Weather
oil on board
signed and on verso titled and dated 1956 on a label
9 1/4 x 8 3/4 in, 23.5 x 22.2 cm

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

Sold for: $55,250

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Acquired as a wedding anniversary gift from the Artist
By descent to the present Private Collection, Vancouver

Doreen Walker, B.C. Binning: A Retrospective, Fine Arts Gallery, University of British Columbia, 1973, page 8, the larger 1957 oil Four or Five Ships Frolicking, collection of Dr. and Mrs. Ben Kanee, Vancouver, reproduced page 30
Doreen Walker, B.C. Binning: A Classical Spirit, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1986, unpaginated

Fine Arts Gallery, University of British Columbia, B.C. Binning: A Retrospective, March 13 - 31, 1973, the 1957 oil Four or Five Ships Frolicking, catalogue #46

B.C. Binning was at the heart of the modernist scene in Vancouver in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1973 Fine Arts Gallery retrospective catalogue, Murray Farr called him a “philosopher king” who had a vision for the arts in Vancouver - Binning founded the Fine Arts Department at the University of British Columbia, and he chaired the committee that organized the annual Festival of the Contemporary Arts. He made UBC an inspiring centre for the visual and performing arts.

Seaside life inspired Binning’s drawings and paintings. From his home in West Vancouver, he roamed by bicycle with his sketching materials to scenic locations such as Horseshoe Bay and Fisherman’s Cove. He explored the coast in his sailboat Skookumchuck, absorbing nautical motifs such as pennants, towers, anchors, navigational devices and rigging. He built a rich vocabulary of symbols for his paintings, and works such as this show his delight in the inventive play of these forms. His 1950s paintings illustrate his affinity with Joan Miró and Paul Klee in their whimsical atmosphere and use of wiry line. Binning incorporated this image into the 1957 oil Four or Five Ships Frolicking, enlarging on it and continuing his playful theme. As Binning stated: “The business of serious joy should be one of the main occupations of the artist.” Two Ships Cruising in Fine Weather, with its vibrant colours, jaunty nautical forms and inventive composition, is a gem that embodies that intent.

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

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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