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LOT 063

William Kurelek
1927 - 1977

mixed media on board
initialed and dated 1975 and on verso titled and inscribed "11" on a label
20 x 16 in 50.8 x 40.6 cm

Estimate: $14,000 - $18,000

Sold for: $34,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Acquired directly from the Artist by the present Private Collection, USA

In Gambling, William Kurelek shows us a mysterious narrative: a man walks away from a table that holds cards and dice, and another table or vessel with two more dice. The setting is equally mysterious: a stony landscape with small tumbleweed-type plants, and a horizon obscured by a bank of mist. Although the field is evenly and strongly illuminated, the sky above the mist is blue fading into black. This work is from the Temptations in the Desert series - Kurelek was a staunch Roman Catholic and often dwelt on the state of man’s soul. Could the man be walking away from a worldly temptation, or is he gambling on his choices in life? And who and where is the second player? The mist and dark sky give the scene a dreamlike quality, and the games set on the tables in the stony landscape have an element of surrealism. The two sets of cards imply the man has played his hand, yet he still looks back as he heads towards the unknown. Characteristic of Kurelek’s work, the painting is finely detailed, and its enigmatic message causes the viewer to search every element in this intriguing image for clues.
This work is in the original frame made by Kurelek.

Estimate: $14,000 - $18,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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