Laurie Campbell supporters pack Klinkhoff Gallery for vernissage

Laurie Campbells Sherbrooke Street in Westmount, 2009

Laurie Campbell's "Sherbrooke Street in Westmount", 2009

In a showing of enthusiasm that recalled the time when gallery vernissages brought hours-long line-ups and even the occasional shoving match, buyers, friends and supporters crammed into Galerie Walter Klinkhoff on Monday night to attend Laurie Campbell’s inaugural exhibition and sale. The evening felt more like a celebration than an exhibition opening at an art gallery. For successful buyers, the gallery and the artist, there was reason to celebrate. By night’s end, all but one of the original Montreal city-scapes had found a buyer.

Campbell’s success follows a remarkable sale of dazzling recent paintings by Danielle Lanteigne earlier this fall and a sell-out exhibition of paintings by St. Foy-based artist Claude Simard last spring. All of these exhibitions have taken place during the recent period of economic instability.

By teaming up with Galerie Klinkhoff in 2008, Campbell joined an elite company of artists. Klinkhoff currently represents a select group of only eleven living artists that it deems to be among Canada’s best talents. Those include the Fredericton artists Molly Lamb and Bruno Bobak, whose prices have risen sharply. It also includes Fred Ross from St. John who, in May, was awarded the Order of New Brunswick. The gallery is also the exclusive dealer for the nationally acclaimed Montreal artist John Little. Since it was founded almost sixty years ago, the gallery has sold works for or represented many artists of great importance, including A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer and Edwin Holgate of the Group of Seven; Paul-Émile Borduas and Jean-Paul Riopelle of Quebec’s famed Automatiste movement; many of the Beaver Hall women, including Kathleen Morris, Nora Collyer, Anne Savage, the family-Estate of Prudence Heward; as well as independent artists Jean-Paul Lemieux and Marc-Aurèle Fortin.

The Laurie Campbell exhibition and sale runs until Saturday, November 28.

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