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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 September-October 2016

Gregg Simpson, Flight to Tangiers

Gregg Simpson, Flight to Tangiers (1977), acrylic and oil on canvas, 46 x 54 inches

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

by Jim Finlay
Finlay Fine Art
finlayfineart.com

Chapter 53. The Case of the Solitary Surrealist

Recently I was asked to appraise two paintings by Gregg Simpson for fair market value for donation purposes. Simpson is a West Coast Surrealist artist living on Bowen Island. He has an extensive exhibition record dating back to 1967 at the Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver, and most recently exhibited his Abstract Surrealist paintings in Rome, Venice and Berlin. He is represented in public and private collections in Spain, France, Chile, Portugal, the United States, Hong Kong as well as Canada.

Surrealism seeks to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind by exploring a resolution to the contentious relationship between dreams and reality. The theoretical underpinnings of Surrealism reference psychoanalysis and the sophisticated philosophical discourse associated with it.

Patricia Ainslie, writing in Correspondences: Jack Shadbolt (Glenbow Museum 1991), noted that in the 1930s, Jack Shadbolt, also a West Coast artist, was referred to as a British Columbia Surrealist. It would appear, then, that Surrealism, as an artistic movement practiced by local visual artists was and is not unknown in B.C.

Over the course of a long and distinguished career, Simpson has found recognition – along with celebrity status – as an important contributor to Surrealist practice elsewhere in Canada and Europe. However, his artistic achievements have historically received a somewhat tepid reception here on the West Coast. Why? Is it because we’re lacking in West Coast sophistication?

A recent article by Kerry Gold in the Globe and Mail (July 9th, 2016) quoted the former Vancouver artist Tanya Marquardt on the difference between Vancouver and New York. Marquardt observed when speaking of Vancouver, “But if a ‘world-class city’ is defined as one with major arts and culture amenities, a financial district, a high income job market, vibrant industries and efficient transit system, do we (Vancouver) qualify? Or are we confusing ‘world class’ with expensive housing and nice views?”

I would argue that the perception of market value is not only affected by economic factors but also cultural factors, which includes the celebrity status and exhibition history of the artist. Such celebrity status often comes from critical acclaim, signifying an important contribution to visual culture. This cultural attachment has economic as well as investment value, which affects sale prices on the secondary market. The art market is now a global market generally unaffected by regional biases.

s it possible to invest in a work by an artist such as Gregg Simpson in an environment historically plagued by a lack of cultural sophistication and endemic insecurity, a society more concerned about its manufactured perception as a world class city? At present, the answer may be no, but there is hope in continuing to develop an openness to innovation and difference.

Next: The Case of the Phony Piguenit

 Sat, Nov 19, 2016