Riopelle Among Canadian Masters - Media Release

October 30, 2007

Public Exhibit of Elite Collectibles a Rarity in Canada’s Commercial Galleries.



Public Exhibit of Elite Collectibles a Rarity in Canada’s Commercial Galleries


WINNIPEG, Manitoba – A $1.1 million painting by Jean-Paul Riopelle will be the showpiece of a week-long exhibition and sale of almost 100 collectible masterworks by Canada’s most prominent and historically-important, 20th-century artists at Mayberry Fine Art.


The Exchange District gallery has acquired the art – valued at some $4 million in total -- from collectors across Canada to mount the Nov. 10 – 17 exhibition of elite collectibles.


Entitled “In Pursuit of a National Identity – An Exhibition of Historical Canadian Art” and featuring works by several Group of Seven artists and their contemporaries, an exhibition of this magnitude is a rarity in Canada’s commercial galleries. Only a handful of galleries are active in the historical art market.


“The show’s focus is on how Canadian art has evolved as part of our cultural identity, how we define ourselves, how we see ourselves. It’s not really Mounties, moose and mountains – the tourist view of Canada,” said Bill Mayberry, co-owner of Mayberry Fine Art.


“Canadian art is inspired by the land, but also by time and place. When Canada’s greatest artists, many of whom were schooled in Europe, returned to Canada, Canadian art took a path of its own. It evolved along with the artists’ visual interpretations of this land,” Mayberry added.


Among the works to be displayed and available for purchase are a rare 1940 Franklin Carmichael piece (10”x12”) valued at $350,000 and a David Milne painting priced at $160,000. Several paintings are priced in the $10,000 to $50,000, but smaller pieces by major names such as Walter J. Phillips and L.L. Fitzgerald can be had for less than $2,000. The exhibition collection, which also includes works by A.Y. Jackson, Lawren Harris, William Kurelek, Cornelius Krieghoff, Emily Carr, and A.J. Casson, can be viewed online at as of November 3.


The 1954, 38”x 57” Jean-Paul Riopelle abstract, entitled “Forêt sans titre”, is “the sexiest painting in the show”, according to gallery co-owner Shaun Mayberry.


“It has organic appeal. It’s predominantly red and has that overtone of sexual energy. Riopelle has a large body of work, but this is one of his most brilliant pieces,” said Mayberry, noting that two smaller Riopelles (circa 1947 and 1977) will also be on display and up for sale at $200,000 and $110,000, respectively.


Regarded as the founding father of Canadian contemporary art, Riopelle (1923 -2002) is arguably Canada’s most internationally-celebrated contemporary artist. His works, particularly those from the 1950s, have set record sale prices in the Canadian and international art world in recent years.


The Mayberrys have been able to assemble these impressive titles for exhibition in Winnipeg because of their national and international network of contacts and relationships with collectors for whom they obtain and sell historical works, the value of which endures from one generation to the next. 


“Ordinarily, these works come into and go out of our gallery without being displayed, but we decided it was important to make the investment necessary to showcase these pieces and increase awareness of the active market that exists for Canadian fine art,” said Bill Mayberry.


“People should be proud that Canadians across the country are confident in investing a significant amount of money in their own identity and their own culture,” he added.


Following this exhibition, Bill Mayberry and son Shaun will travel to Toronto for the semi-annual art auctions hosted by Canada’s high-profile auction houses. At these sales, the Mayberrys put their expertise to work to ensure their clients’ interests are well-served in bidding on particular works. 


Mayberry Fine Art officially opened in January, 2003, in the century-old Lake of the Woods Milling Co. building in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District. Committed to the revitalization of the City's downtown core, the Mayberry family restored their two-story, 10,000 square-foot, red-brick building to its former grandeur.


The officially-designated heritage building turned art gallery, located at 212 McDermot Avenue, represents a select group of contemporary Canadian artists such as Winnipeg’s Wanda Koop and Andrew Valko, Surrey’s Robert Genn, Saskatchewan’s Joe Fafard, and Ottawa’s Rose-Aimee Belanger, in addition to its activity in the historical art market.


The Mayberrys, with more than 30 years experience in fine art, sell, buy and lease paintings, can arrange special commissions, and also provide professional art appraisals, restoration and custom framing services. Visit to learn more.