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Auction house previews art in Calgary ahead of major sale in Toronto

Calgary auction house previews art it will soon have for sale
WATCH: A Canadian auction house says the total value of the 116 pieces of artwork that will be up for sale is between $15 million and $23 million. Michael King reports.

Calgary will temporarily be home to a selection of paintings and sculptures that will be up for auction at the Heffel Fine Art Auction House in Toronto next month.

The pieces are in Calgary to offer a preview of the auction. It is open to the public and gives Calgarians a chance to see what pieces will be coming up on the auction block.

The auction house’s vice-president, Robert Heffel, said this particular auction of post-war contemporary and Canadian impressionist art is gaining interest worldwide.

“We’ve already had hundreds of phone calls,” Heffel said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to have an art history lesson and see paintings you don’t always see.”

The auction features 116 pieces of artwork from well-known artists, including members of Canada’s own Group of Seven.

READ MORE: Calgary student stumbles on Group of Seven painting at University of Oxford

A.Y. Jackson’s Laurentian Hills is expected to be one of the top sellers and Heffel said it should go for at least $250,000.

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A.Y. Jackson’s Laurentian Hills
A.Y. Jackson’s Laurentian Hills Michael King / Global News

Other artists include Lawren Harris, Jean Paul Riopelle, Paul-Émile Borduas and Emily Carr. Heffel said he believes several pieces will fetch at least $100,000 on May 29.

READ MORE: Lawren Harris painting ‘Mountains East of Maligne Lake’ sells for $3 million at auction

Heffel said he expects the total value for the art up for auction to be between $15 million and $23 million.

Despite the economic downturn in Alberta, Heffel said Calgarians are still showing interest in high-end art, especially when it comes to Canadian artists.

“The art market remains quite strong in Calgary,” Heffel said.

“When the great masterpiece comes out, there are always buyers for a great painting.”

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The preview runs from April 12 until April 14 at the Heffel Gallery.