LOT 215

1919 - 2020

SA 13 Landscape
oil on canvas, circa 1965
signed and on verso titled
25 1/2 x 30 in, 64.8 x 76.2 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000 CAD

Sold for: $67,250

Preview at:

Private Collection, Edmonton
Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, May 17, 2011, lot 25
The Collection of Torben V. Kristiansen, Vancouver

Ian M. Thom and Andrew Hunter, Gordon Smith: The Act of Painting, Vancouver Art Gallery, 1997, a similar circa 1966 canvas entitled Blue Still Life reproduced page 83

Gordon Smith is one of Canada’s most important early modernist painters; his work has always existed in a procession of evolutionary styles. His period of abstraction began after he studied with abstract painter Elmer Bischoff at the California School of Fine Arts in 1951. Seeing American Abstract Expressionists such as Clyfford Still caused him to examine the qualities of paint itself, and he immersed himself in colour, texture and brushwork. A new direction emerged in 1965 that incorporated bold colour and a dynamic tension between forms and lines that expanded from the centre and encountered the limitation of the edge of the canvas. These works, of which this is an outstanding example, were imbued with a kind of nervous energy, activated by a vivid colour palette that included brilliant reds, blues and greens. Explosive central forms hovered on rich colour fields as Smith painted with a daring eloquence. An initiatory 1965 oil from this group titled Red Wizard, Red was reproduced in Time magazine. In 1966, a retrospective of Smith’s work was mounted at the University of British Columbia Fine Arts Gallery, including works from this series, further establishing Smith’s importance in British Columbia’s artistic community.

For the biography on Torben V. Kristiansen in PDF format, please click here.

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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