Lawren Harris’s ‘Mountain Forms’ sells for more than $11.2 million

The Lawren Harris painting’s selling price doubles the previous record for most expensive Canadian artwork sold at auction

TORONTO – The Lawren Harris painting “Mountain Forms” smashed the Canadian art record Wednesday by selling for over $11.2 million, more than double the previous record set in 2002.

Heffel Fine Art Auction House had estimated the 1926 oil canvas would fetch between $3 million and $5 million.

The buyer had bid the price of the landscape painting up to $9.5 million, but an 18 per cent buyer’s premium boosted the final tally to $11,210,000*.

The sale of the Harris piece has shattered the record set in 2002 when Paul Kane’s 1845 oil canvas “Scene in the Northwest – Portrait” sold for just over $5 million, after including the buyer’s premium.

It also broke the record for an auction price for a Harris painting, with “Mountain and Glacier” selling for $4.6 million last year.

“Mountain Forms” depicts Mount Ishbel in the Sawback Range in the Rocky Mountains.

It was one of the works featured in an exhibit of the late landscape artist that was co-curated by American actor-comedian Steve Martin.

The exhibit was presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario earlier this year, as well as the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Harris, who was born in Brantford, Ont., in 1885, is credited with being most responsible for the formation of the Group of Seven.

CORRECTION, Nov. 24, 2016: A previous version of this post claimed the painting sold for $9.5-million. This did not include the 18 per cent buyer’s premium that increased the final total to $11,210,000.

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