LOT 144

1888 - 1970

oil on board, circa 1940
signed twice
21 3/4 x 25 3/4 in 55.2 x 65.4 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Private Collection, Montreal

Michèle Grandbois, editor, Marc-Aurèle Fortin: The Experience of Colour, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, 2011, page 132

Maisons is a fine example of what Marc-Aurèle Fortin called his “black manner” paintings, in which he laid bright paint strokes over a black ground. Fortin maintained that this style came to him in Europe, where he saw an Oriental carpet with a black ground overlaid with colourful traditional motifs. However, Fortin scholar Michèle Grandbois also believed it was “the culmination of a long process that involved the influence of Alfred East and Fortin’s admiration for the craftsmanship of non-modernist artists.” Another precursor was his work with etching in intaglio and relief, when he experimented with the strong effects of contrasting black and white.

These houses, which could be located at Fortin’s birthplace Sainte-Rose or some other adjacent small Quebec town, have a forceful, moody atmosphere due to the black ground. The long horizontal and vertical slats of white and cream paint depicting the wood siding create structure and emanate light, as do the rich golds, oranges and reds of the trees and the fence. Fortin’s vibrant use of colour against the dark ground emanates vitality, and his simplification of form is proof of his modernity.

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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