COMBERMERE – Kurelek Road is named after the renowned Canadian painter and writer William Kurelek, who had a cottage and art studio at the end of the road in the 1970s.
Although he fit the image of the starving artist in the 1950s, his work now fetches considerable sums from top-rate auction houses. He has collectors throughout Canada, and he is well known in Europe.
In November 2016, his Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was expected to sell for an estimated $300,000 to $350,000. Instead, the 26 x 23½” oil on board sold for $531,000 CDN including the auction premium. The sale was at Heffel’s Fall 1st Session auction on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 in Toronto.
Heffel Fine Auction House, which also maintains offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal, has attracted significant bids on the works of a number of other notable Canadian artists in addition to Kurelek. These include Emily Carr, Lawren Harris, Tom Thomson, A. Y. Jackson and Jean-Paul Riopelle.
CBC news reported in 2017 that Heffel sold Jean-Paul Riopelle’s work for a record-breaking price. The headline for CBC the online article said, “Final sale price of $7,438,750 makes it Canada‘s second most expensive work of art.”
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