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CURRENT COLUMN

The Case of Dubious Due Diligence
The Case of Dubious Due Diligence

The Case of the Olympic Posters
The Case of the Olympic Posters

The Case of the Solitary Surrealist
The Case of the Solitary Surrealist

The Case of the Recalcitrant Rembrandt
The Case of the Recalcitrant Rembrandt

The Case of the Ambiguity of Authenticity
The Case of the Ambiguity of Authenticity

The Case of Margaret Keane’s Big-Eyed Boys
The Case of Margaret Keane’s Big-Eyed Boys

The Case of Clarence’s Château-Gaillard
The Case of Clarence’s Château-Gaillard

The Case of the M.S. Nov 1910
The Case of the M.S. Nov 1910

The Case of Cruise Ship Art: Part 2
The Case of the Archangel Michael Defeating Satan

The Case of Cruise Ship Art: Part 2
The Case of Cruise Ship Art: Part 2

The Case of Mary Most Holy Mother of Light
The Case of Mary Most Holy Mother of Light

The Case of Leni and the Nuba
The Case of Leni and the Nuba

The Case of the Seductive Souvenir
The Case of the Seductive Souvenir

The Case of the Irish Surrealist
The Case of the Irish Surrealist

The Case of the Developing Dalí
The Case of the Developing Dalí

The Case of Nano-D Technology
The Case of Nano-D Technology

The Case of Dabatable Donations
The Case of Debatable Donations

Edgar Heap of Birds
The Case of the Long-tailed Monkey

Edgar Heap of Birds
The Case of Edgar Heap of Birds

Silent Song
The Case of the Silent Song

Aficionado
The Case of Alex and the Art Aficionado

Portrait
The Case of the Privacy of the Publicity Photo

Potter
The Case of the Potter's Portraits

The Case of the Coy Cornelius Krieghoff

The Case of the Political Portraitist

The Case of the Reconsidered Revolution

The Case of the Anabiotic Abbey

The Case of the Phoney Picasso

The Case of Setsuko Piroche

The Case of being on the Forest Edge with Vern Simpson

The Case of Being at the End of the Storm with Loren Adams

The Case of Being: Under the Table with Thomas

The Case of Wyland's Whales on Walls

The Case of A.Y. Jackson's Smart River (Alaska)

The Case of Red Fish with Blue Breasts

The Case of Looe Poole

The Case of Camaldoli

The Case of MS

The Case of the Misattributed Emily Carrs

The Case of the Doubtful Dürer

The Case of the Purloined Picasso

The Case of the Defrocked Duchess of Devonshire

The Case of the First Wife

The Case of the Dodford Priory

The Case of the Unknown Actor

Art Services & Materials


Confessions Back June/July/August 2017

Claude Breeze next to Museum Piece: Genetic Problem Prototype No. 5 1-6 (c. 1969–1970)

Claude Breeze next to Museum Piece: Genetic Problem Prototype No. 5 1-6 (c. 1969–1970)

Practical Art History
(or Confessions of a Fine Art Appraiser)

by Jim Finlay
Finlay Fine Art
finlayfineart.com

Chapter 57. The Case of Claude Breeze

In Art and Architecture in Canada: A Bibliography and Guide to the Literature, Loren Lerner and Mary Williamson summarized an article by Barry Lord, “From the ‘Deck’ at North Surrey: Landscape and Figure in the Art of Claude Breeze,” which appeared in artscanada 24 (Aug-Sept 1971). Their comments included: “The universality of his work derives its authenticity and power from the artist’s direct experience of the Canadian West Coast and from what is described as a peculiar combination of hope and despair in Vancouver.”

In his article, Lord, commenting on the superficiality of the tourist ads that conflate the natural splendour around Vancouver with tourism, observed, “it is the glory and the human effects on its gross exploitation.”

Lord’s article surveyed Breeze’s artistic output from 1962 to 1971 for an exhibition entitled Claude Breeze 10 Years, held at the Vancouver Art Gallery from September 29 to October 24, 1971. Most of the work referenced Breeze’s signature compositions, which featured the figure in the landscape; however, the only sculptural piece included in the exhibition was the one shown in the picture. Breeze used a sculptural medium to represent human heads suggestive of human life long since expired, encased in vitrines resting on plinths – they were deliberately reminiscent of a museum exhibit curiosity.

Breeze’s paintings spoke to the health and sustainability of the landscape as an important determinant for human survivability, and his figures personified an ecological and empathetic relationship with their environment.

Lord’s insightful article framed the imagery in the exhibition in terms of a conflict between the natural and constructed environment but did not offer any solutions.

Breeze’s works continue to remain relevant to this day by insisting on the importance of a symbiotic relationship with the natural world. Traditional Canadian Northwest Coast First Nations and other Indigenous stories speak to that relationship between human survivability and the natural world, and perhaps we, as a society, should learn from their intrinsic truths.

The damaging effects of climate change on the biosphere have been well-documented and foreshadow the possibility of a disruption of human and other life on the planet. It is obvious that we need to collectively act to ensure our survival by re-enchanting our understanding of the natural world as a necessity for long-term sustainablity and survivability. That is, to re-mythologize the idea of the magnificient machine, called Earth, whose workings we do not completely understand.

 Thu, Jun 15, 2017