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Montreal’s ByDealers Auction House

Canada’s art dealers unite.

A new Canadian auction house has teamed up with a selection of private galleries in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec to sell historic works of Canadian post-war and contemporary art to the public. The arrival of ByDealers marks the first time in North America that an auction house is collaborating directly with private galleries, signalling a shift in how dealers traditionally sell art.

“It’s a new business model,” says Marc-Antoine Longpré, a Montreal-based art market expert and former BMO Nesbitt Burns associate who is spearheading the initiative involving 15 associate galleries across the country (they include: Masters Galleries Limited in Calgary; Miriam Shiell Fine Art, Gallery Gevik, and Christopher Cutts Gallery in Toronto; Galerie d’art Vincent in Ottawa; and Galerie Éric Klinkhoff, Galerie Yves Laroche, and Robin Rosenberg Fine Art in Montreal.)

“The dealers,” Longpré elaborates, “are bringing important pieces to auction, some rarely seen before, making it a good opportunity for collectors to get access to masterpieces of Canadian post-war art and for consignors to get better prices than in a private sell.”

The arrival of ByDealers marks the first time in North America that an auction house is collaborating directly with private galleries.

The inaugural ByDealers event will take place at St. James Theatre in Montreal on November 6, starting at 7 p.m., and will be live-streamed—another North American first. A total of 65 art works will go on the block, some of which are expected to reach record prices at auction. Bids can be made online, by phone, and in person.

Among the pieces on the block is Ronqueralles, a large 1960 oil and canvas by the late Marcelle Ferron, an early member of Quebec’s important Les Automatistes movement of abstract expressionist painters, which won the silver medal at the medal at the 1961 Sao Paulo Biennial. It has an estimate of between $425,000 and $525,000.

Also noteworthy is Sans titre, an abstract triptych by Joan Mitchell, the New York-born gestural painter, which for decades hung in the private collection of Canadian superstar artist Jean-Paul Riopelle, making it something of a rarity at auction. It has an estimate of between $400,000 and $500,000, but could likely sell for higher given that a similar Mitchell work, entitled Parasol, recently sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $3,312,500 USD ($4,198,800 Canadian).

“It’s definitely one to look for,” Longpré says.

Other artists represented in the upcoming public sale include Charles Gagnon, Harold Town, Kazuo Nakamura, William Ronald, Jean McEwen, Jack Bush, Guido Molinari, and Jean-Claude Lemieux, to name a few.

Previews of the art work will take place at the next annual edition of the Toronto Art Fair at the Intercontinental Toronto Centre, October 26 to 29, and at the St. James Theatre, located at 265 rue St. Jacques in Montreal, November 2 to 6.

For times and access to the online auction catalogue visit

5333 Casgrain Avenue, Suite 610, Montreal, QC H2T 1X3, Canada.


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