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LOT 101

1941 -

Great Fallen Bird
etching and aquatint on paper
signed, titled, editioned Artist's Proof and dated 1964
20 x 24 3/4 in, 50.8 x 62.9 cm

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000

Preview at: Heffel Vancouver

Forsyth Fine Art, Ontario
Private Collection, British Columbia

In 1969 a young man bought his first artwork from his teacher at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario, for $100 - an original etching by a 28-year-old David Blackwood. Already celebrated internationally for his dark and dramatic etchings of life in Newfoundland, this initial purchase led to a lifelong pursuit of collecting Blackwood’s work, a portion of which is now being offered for the first time at Heffel.

Spanning decades of Blackwood’s practice, this collection includes important etchings and studies among stunning recent watercolours. Highlighting the collection is a selection of rare early prints from the Lost Party series, which Blackwood began as a student at the Ontario College of Art in the early 1960s and which preoccupied him for nearly a decade. The series recounts the 1914 Newfoundland sealing disaster, a story which gripped the artist as a boy. Executed with the hallucinatory exaggeration of a childhood memory, etchings such as Great Lost Party Adrift and Cape Islanders Waiting constitute a haunting elegy for Newfoundlanders’ sublime existence in thrall to the elements.

Blackwood was born in 1941, eight years before Newfoundland’s confederation, and his life straddles two worlds. Having grown up on the old ways and stories, his oeuvre is unique to Canadian history because of his devotion to his subject. Shaped by physical distance from his homeland and romantic reflection on a harsh and courageous way of life - his work consecrates a people and place, bestowing a mythical quality to the symbolic rituals and generational customs now lost in time.

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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