It's a big day in the Canadian art world. Twice a year, everyone in the business pauses to see what will happen at the three big art auctions in Toronto. Collectors want to make sure they aren't overpaying for paintings from a dealer, and dealers want to ensure they aren't undercharging a client. For better or worse, it works both ways. Prices that were offered before the sales are no longer valid - all bets are off.
But today in particular is a very interesting day. Heffel steps up to bat first at 4 pm at the Park Hyatt for their Canadian Post-War and Contemporary art sale. There are a number of big ticket items, but the ones to watch are "sing sing sing", the gargantuan canvas by Jack Bush, "grande Fete", the juicy little canvas by Jean-Paul Riopelle and, of course, "nineteen ten remembered" by Jean Paul Lemieux. This painting represents an important milestone for the auction house because For the first time, Heffel has not given a dollar estimate on a major piece to be auctioned.
No rest for the wicked - Heffel's second sale (of fine Canadian art) continues at 7 pm, while Joyner keeps things going at 10 am tomorrow with their Canadian art auction in their new location on King Street East. Take a breather over the weekend, but then it's back at it with Sotheby's at the ROM on Monday night.
I'll be there live watching to see how it all plays out.
Let the games begin.