"Horizontal Still Life"
Joseph Plaskett, "Horizontal Still Life," 2010, oil on canvas 21" x 51".
Born: 1918, New Westminster
Studied: Banff, San Francisco, New York, London and Paris
Lives/Works: Paris, Suffolk (UK)
Price Range: $3,200 - $24,000
“ We’re seeing major collectors moving toward modern abstract work” says Elizabeth Levinson, Associate Director of one of the three Winchester Galleries in Victoria (co-owned by Gunter Heinrich and Anthony Sam). She explains it’s partly the market and partly changing tastes. The pool of historic, representational work has been greatly reduced as works go into long-held or institutional collections. “However” she notes, “modern works, particularly great Canadian abstracts (e.g. Riopelle, McEwen, Tousignant, Perehudoff, Klunder), have a terrific upside because they have generally stayed in Canada and been overlooked — although the global market is catching on.” Her advice, “Get expert direction and buy the very best you can afford.”
For senior collectors, she suggests Joseph Plaskett merits serious consideration. He’s best known for his figurative and still-life paintings. Recipient of the Order of Canada and numerous other awards and honorary doctorates, Plaskett won the first Emily Carr scholarship in 1946, and recently created his own foundation, which now awards similar scholarships. He continues to paint and is exhibited in both Europe and North America.
Levinson shares an anecdote about becoming a ‘collector’. Some years ago, a now-client purchased a Jacques Majorelle work at auction for $140, not because he knew the artist but because the painting was distinctive, had good composition and really engaged him. “It appeared to be a good painting,” he now recounts. Years later, he sold it for € 59,000 (about $82,000). It showed him the value of buying well, and has since developed his eye –— and vastly improved his collection.