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LOT 030

Edward John (E.J.) Hughes

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BCSFA CGP OC RCA
1913 - 2007
Canadian

Above the Yacht Club, Penticton, BC
acrylic on canvas
signed and dated 1991 and on verso signed, titled, dated, inscribed with the Dominion Gallery Inventory #D8472 on the gallery label and stamped Dominion Gallery
25 x 32 in, 63.5 x 81.3 cm

CAD

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Dominion Gallery, Montreal
Barbeau Owen Foundation Collection, Vancouver

LITERATURE
Leslie Allan Dawn and Patricia Salmon, E.J. Hughes: The Vast and Beautiful Interior, Kamloops Art Gallery, 1994, reproduced page 61 and listed page 72
Ian M. Thom, E.J. Hughes, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2002, reproduced page 203
Jacques Barbeau, A Journey with E.J. Hughes, 2005, reproduced page 136 and listed page 165
Jacques Barbeau, The E.J. Hughes Album, Volume 1, The Paintings, 1932 – 1991, 2011, reproduced page 88 and listed page 100, and the related 1963 canvas Above the Yacht Club, Penticton reproduced page 39 and listed page 94
Jacques Barbeau, E.J. Hughes through the Decades: The Paintings, 1936 – 2006, 2012, reproduced page 63 and in a photo page 109
Robert Amos, E.J. Hughes Paints British Columbia, 2019, reproduced page 112

EXHIBITED
Kamloops Art Gallery, E.J. Hughes: The Vast and Beautiful Interior, September 22 – November 6, 1994, traveling in 1995 to the Grand Forks Art Gallery; Vernon Art Gallery; Art Gallery of the South Okanagan, Penticton; Kelowna Art Gallery; and Prince George Art Gallery, catalogue #40
Vancouver Art Gallery, E.J. Hughes, January 30 – June 8, 2003, traveling in 2003 – 2004 to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

In 1958, E.J. Hughes received his first grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. As he wrote to his sister Zoe: “We spent two weeks in Chilliwack in May. (It’s a nice change for Fern, and 2/3 of her travelling expenses are paid.) … We spent two weeks in Penticton in June, where I obtained some suitable sketches of the Okanagan Lake area (beautiful).”[1]

From one of the sketches, Hughes created an oil painting titled Above the Yacht Club, Penticton in 1963 and sent it to Max Stern at the Dominion Gallery in Montreal. Upon receipt, Stern noted: “As always the water, which we love so much, is very beautifully painted and the clouds are really moving. We are delighted to have this canvas.”[2]

In 1984, the artist switched to acrylic paint and revisited some of his favourite scenes in the new medium. “I feel that I am going to be able to achieve the same subtleties that I could with oils, without having to breathe the toxic fumes of the new synthetic substitute for turpentine,” he wrote to Stern.[3] The rich colours and the exquisite gradation of tones of the acrylic version of Above the Yacht Club, Penticton, BC (1991) are in no way inferior to his work in oils. When he completed it, it was his 34th painting in the new medium, and he included the following descriptive note:

The pencil sketch from nature, from which the above painting, and also the first version (1963) were produced, was done in 1958, during the first of my Canada Council sketching trips. This was before I learned to drive a car, so it is fortunate that this motif could be viewed from just a block from our (my wife’s and my) motel. The body of water is Lake Okanagan.[4]

The artist’s vantage point is a park directly above the yacht club. Almost 30 boats are moored there, including four sailboats and an array of lovingly rendered pleasure craft. Between a bright sign on a shed and a small boathouse, someone is heading out in a little outboard, the sort of boat Hughes was familiar with from his happy days at Shawnigan Lake. In the middle distance is the fruit-growing district, fronted with pale buff sand hills. The lake itself is a jewel, blue at the far edge fading to turquoise, with jade-green waves in the foreground.

Though best known for his paintings of the BC coast, Hughes devoted a great deal of time to depicting the interior of the province. This focus culminated in the 1994 exhibition The Vast and Beautiful Interior, which opened at the Kamloops Art Gallery in September 1994 and toured to three other BC galleries. Above the Yacht Club, Penticton, BC (1991) was featured in that show and was reproduced in the catalogue.

The acquisition of the painting is described by Jacques Barbeau in his book A Journey with E.J. Hughes: “In the fall of 1999 I joined Michel Moreault to bid adieu to this venerable establishment [the Dominion Gallery] that had been such a shelter to me.… As we commiserated together over the loss of this cultural refuge, we began to look over the remaining Hughes inventory. All of a sudden, Above the Yacht Club, Penticton, BC caught my attention, as if for the first time.… It was the last painting I acquired from the Dominion Gallery—a worthy salut to Dr. Stern.”[5]

We thank Robert Amos, artist and writer from Victoria, BC, for contributing the above essay. Amos is the official biographer of Hughes and has so far published four books on his work. Building on the archives of Pat Salmon, Amos is at work on a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work.

1. E. J. Hughes to Zoe Foster, July 26, 1958, correspondence available at Special Collections, University of Victoria.

2. Max Stern to E.J. Hughes, June 14, 1963.

3. E.J. Hughes to Max Stern, May 27, 1983.

4. From a descriptive label written by Hughes for the back of the canvas. A copy of the label is in Special Collections at the University of Victoria.

5. Jacques Barbeau, A Journey with E.J. Hughes, 2nd ed. (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2005), 91.

For the biography on Jacques Barbeau and Margaret Owen Barbeau in PDF format please click here.

Estimate: $90,000 - $120,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business. Bidders must ensure they have satisfied themselves with the condition of the Lot prior to bidding. Condition reports are available upon request.

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[ translate ]

BCSFA CGP OC RCA
1913 - 2007
Canadian

Above the Yacht Club, Penticton, BC
acrylic on canvas
signed and dated 1991 and on verso signed, titled, dated, inscribed with the Dominion Gallery Inventory #D8472 on the gallery label and stamped Dominion Gallery
25 x 32 in, 63.5 x 81.3 cm

CAD

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Dominion Gallery, Montreal
Barbeau Owen Foundation Collection, Vancouver

LITERATURE
Leslie Allan Dawn and Patricia Salmon, E.J. Hughes: The Vast and Beautiful Interior, Kamloops Art Gallery, 1994, reproduced page 61 and listed page 72
Ian M. Thom, E.J. Hughes, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2002, reproduced page 203
Jacques Barbeau, A Journey with E.J. Hughes, 2005, reproduced page 136 and listed page 165
Jacques Barbeau, The E.J. Hughes Album, Volume 1, The Paintings, 1932 – 1991, 2011, reproduced page 88 and listed page 100, and the related 1963 canvas Above the Yacht Club, Penticton reproduced page 39 and listed page 94
Jacques Barbeau, E.J. Hughes through the Decades: The Paintings, 1936 – 2006, 2012, reproduced page 63 and in a photo page 109
Robert Amos, E.J. Hughes Paints British Columbia, 2019, reproduced page 112

EXHIBITED
Kamloops Art Gallery, E.J. Hughes: The Vast and Beautiful Interior, September 22 – November 6, 1994, traveling in 1995 to the Grand Forks Art Gallery; Vernon Art Gallery; Art Gallery of the South Okanagan, Penticton; Kelowna Art Gallery; and Prince George Art Gallery, catalogue #40
Vancouver Art Gallery, E.J. Hughes, January 30 – June 8, 2003, traveling in 2003 – 2004 to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

In 1958, E.J. Hughes received his first grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. As he wrote to his sister Zoe: “We spent two weeks in Chilliwack in May. (It’s a nice change for Fern, and 2/3 of her travelling expenses are paid.) … We spent two weeks in Penticton in June, where I obtained some suitable sketches of the Okanagan Lake area (beautiful).”[1]

From one of the sketches, Hughes created an oil painting titled Above the Yacht Club, Penticton in 1963 and sent it to Max Stern at the Dominion Gallery in Montreal. Upon receipt, Stern noted: “As always the water, which we love so much, is very beautifully painted and the clouds are really moving. We are delighted to have this canvas.”[2]

In 1984, the artist switched to acrylic paint and revisited some of his favourite scenes in the new medium. “I feel that I am going to be able to achieve the same subtleties that I could with oils, without having to breathe the toxic fumes of the new synthetic substitute for turpentine,” he wrote to Stern.[3] The rich colours and the exquisite gradation of tones of the acrylic version of Above the Yacht Club, Penticton, BC (1991) are in no way inferior to his work in oils. When he completed it, it was his 34th painting in the new medium, and he included the following descriptive note:

The pencil sketch from nature, from which the above painting, and also the first version (1963) were produced, was done in 1958, during the first of my Canada Council sketching trips. This was before I learned to drive a car, so it is fortunate that this motif could be viewed from just a block from our (my wife’s and my) motel. The body of water is Lake Okanagan.[4]

The artist’s vantage point is a park directly above the yacht club. Almost 30 boats are moored there, including four sailboats and an array of lovingly rendered pleasure craft. Between a bright sign on a shed and a small boathouse, someone is heading out in a little outboard, the sort of boat Hughes was familiar with from his happy days at Shawnigan Lake. In the middle distance is the fruit-growing district, fronted with pale buff sand hills. The lake itself is a jewel, blue at the far edge fading to turquoise, with jade-green waves in the foreground.

Though best known for his paintings of the BC coast, Hughes devoted a great deal of time to depicting the interior of the province. This focus culminated in the 1994 exhibition The Vast and Beautiful Interior, which opened at the Kamloops Art Gallery in September 1994 and toured to three other BC galleries. Above the Yacht Club, Penticton, BC (1991) was featured in that show and was reproduced in the catalogue.

The acquisition of the painting is described by Jacques Barbeau in his book A Journey with E.J. Hughes: “In the fall of 1999 I joined Michel Moreault to bid adieu to this venerable establishment [the Dominion Gallery] that had been such a shelter to me.… As we commiserated together over the loss of this cultural refuge, we began to look over the remaining Hughes inventory. All of a sudden, Above the Yacht Club, Penticton, BC caught my attention, as if for the first time.… It was the last painting I acquired from the Dominion Gallery—a worthy salut to Dr. Stern.”[5]

We thank Robert Amos, artist and writer from Victoria, BC, for contributing the above essay. Amos is the official biographer of Hughes and has so far published four books on his work. Building on the archives of Pat Salmon, Amos is at work on a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work.

1. E. J. Hughes to Zoe Foster, July 26, 1958, correspondence available at Special Collections, University of Victoria.

2. Max Stern to E.J. Hughes, June 14, 1963.

3. E.J. Hughes to Max Stern, May 27, 1983.

4. From a descriptive label written by Hughes for the back of the canvas. A copy of the label is in Special Collections at the University of Victoria.

5. Jacques Barbeau, A Journey with E.J. Hughes, 2nd ed. (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2005), 91.

For the biography on Jacques Barbeau and Margaret Owen Barbeau in PDF format please click here.

Estimate: $90,000 - $120,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business. Bidders must ensure they have satisfied themselves with the condition of the Lot prior to bidding. Condition reports are available upon request.

[ translate ]
Sale price
Unlock
Estimate
Unlock
Time, Location
23 Nov 2023
Canada
Auction House
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