Lot #106

Ivan Eyre
Café

acrylic on canvas
signed and dated 1968 on the reverse; titled on the stretcher
50 x 50 in ( 127 x 127 cm )

Auction Estimate: $15,000.00$12,000.00 - $15,000.00

Provenance:
Roberta Pollock, Ottawa
Collection of The Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2015
Exhibited:
"Ivan Eyre: Landscapes and Still Lifes", Winnipeg Art Gallery, 15 September-31 October 2017
Literature:
Denis Cooley, Amy Karlinsky and Mary Reid, "Figure Ground: The Paintings and Drawings of Ivan Eyre", Winnipeg, 2005, pages 17-18
Sometimes identified as a Surrealist, Ivan Eyre would simply state that his work is characterized by his own personal mythology. In 1966-67, he travelled to England and throughout Europe where he was able to sell many of his paintings to private collectors. His works were inspired by the Symbolist philosophy of following subjective recollection and reaction rather than the Realist-Impressionist technique of observation-based painting. His still life paintings, including "Café", dating to 1968, contain ambiguous items, including boxes, scrap papers and photographs, which are only somewhat discernable to the eye, as the forms are heavily stylized and tightly arranged. Upon a very close inspection of the painting, we are able to identify a mug and a cord plugged into an outlet, but much remains a mystery. Eyre was committed to engaging the viewer; he brings us on “an active journey through his work by creating paths of movement.” This realm of unidentifiable figuration, yet separate from abstraction, is a unique and intriguing characteristic of Eyre’s work.

This artwork is being sold to benefit the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq in establishing an endowment fund to support more diverse representation in the permanent collection, beginning with contemporary Canadian art. Cowley Abbott is pleased to donate our selling commission to the fund as part of the sale.
Sale Date: May 30th 2024

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Ivan Kenneth Eyre
(1935 - 2022) RCA

Ivan Kenneth Eyre was born in Tullymet, Saskatchewan in 1935. At the Saskatoon Technical Collegiate he studied under Ernest Lindner, followed by studies at the University of Saskatchewan under Eli Bornstein in 1952. At the University of Manitoba School of Art, he studied under several notable teachers graduating in 1957 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. In 1958-59 he attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks where he also taught. Upon returning to Canada, he took a teaching job at the University of Manitoba where he was appointed Full Professor (of painting and drawing) and where he stayed until his retirement in 1993. In 1966-67, he travelled in England and Europe where he was able to sell many of his paintings to private collectors. His works were inspired by the Symbolist philosophy of following subjective recollection and reaction rather than the Realist-Impressionist technique of objective observation-based painting. He is very much part of the artistic scene of the Prairies where he has lived most of his life. Eyre is also known for his graphite, crayon studies, and woodcuts. Among his many honours, he was elected member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1974, received the Queen's Silver Jubilee medal in 1977, the University of Manitoba Alumni Jubilee Award in 1982, and was the subject of several films and books. He has held solo exhibitions from 1962 to the present and participated in many group shows. His works hang in numerous private and public collections in Canada and abroad. Winnipeg is the home to the Pavilion Gallery which houses the largest permanent of Eyre's paintings representing 170 works on canvas and over 5000 drawings. Ivan Eyre lived and worked in Winnipeg, Manitoba.