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LOT 001

1909 - 1976

Night Ships
oil on board
signed and dated 1950 and on verso titled and dated on the gallery label and titled, dated and inscribed "West Vancouver, Canada" on the artist's label
12 x 14 1/2 in 30.5 x 36.8 cm

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

Sold for: $46,250

Preview at:

Equinox Gallery, Vancouver
Private Estate, Vancouver

Abraham J. Rogatnick, Ian M. Thom and Adele Weder, B.C. Binning, 2006, page 131

B.C. Binning was a seminal figure in the West Coast art scene. In 1955 he established and became the head of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia. He was a cultural catalyst who participated in the development of the UBC Fine Arts Gallery, and he encouraged the development of Vancouver’s art scene on many fronts.

Binning was an early modernist, and his 1950s abstractions were often based on nautical themes, as in this stunning work in which brightly coloured forms pop out from a dark backdrop. Binning had a sailboat named Skookumchuck, and he was an enthusiastic navigator around Vancouver’s shores. He was a sensitive observer and described sailing into Vancouver’s harbour at night as follows: “Suddenly you break out into all the lights of the harbour and the ships…and all this black velvety summer night…with all these signals, lights flashing…You know it’s really quite stirring.” Binning did a number of night paintings inspired by this experience, and they are particularly desirable. Night Ships is an outstanding example – elegant yet playful, it demonstrates Binning’s sense of lyricism, his simplicity of visual statement and his cool classicism.

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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