Artwork by Toni Onley,  Arctic Bay

Toni Onley
Arctic Bay

oil on canvas
signed lower left; titled and dated 1975 on the stretcher
29.25 x 33.25 ins ( 74.3 x 84.5 cms )

Auction Estimate: $3,500.00$2,500.00 - $3,500.00

Price Realized $2,242.00
Sale date: October 27th 2020

Waddington Galleries, Montreal
Marlborough Godard Gallery, Toronto/Montreal
Private Collection, Toronto
While Toni Onley is one of Canada’s most celebrated postwar landscape artists, he was also an avid pilot, flying his small float plane to some of British Columbia and Northern Canada’s most remote regions. While exploring these serene locales, Onley would produce sketches of the landscape from this aerial vantage point. “Arctic Bay” bears the quintessential cool colour palette synonymous with the artist’s work, with an emphasis on white swaths, highlights and reduction of form. Onley captures the profound landscape of Baffin Island with his trademark contemplative artistic process and sensitivity towards the landscape.

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Toni Onley
(1928 - 2004) ARCA

Widely known for his distinctive landscapes, British Columbia artist Toni Onley was born in 1928 on the Isle of Man and was educated in England and Mexico. He made his first trip to the Arctic in 1974 and later published “Onley's Arctic: Diaries and Paintings of the High Arctic”. His work has been the subject of a critical study by Roger Boulet entitled “Toni Onley, A Silent Thunder”. A recipient of the Order of Canada, Onley published Toni Onley's “British Columbia: A Tribute”(Raincoast, 1999) and an autobiography, “Flying Colours: The Toni Onley Story” (Harbour Publishing, 2003), as told to Gregory Strong, which recounts his victory as a 'Rolls-Royce rebel' who fought against Revenue Canada on a personal taxation issue, threatening to burn his paintings.

Onley died on February 29, 2004 in a single-plane accident when he crashed his plane into the Fraser River while presumably practicing landings and take-offs.