Art and Value II

“Art and Value II” — March 1-29, 2014

Our second annual “Art and Value” exhibition explores the question of “what gives a work of art value?”

It seems that news headlines are consistently reporting: “The most expensive piece of art ever sold”, “Record-breaking art sales” or answering “Why art is a good investment”. The prices themselves are also staggering: $155.9 million Pablo Picasso (March 2013), $142.4 million Francis Bacon (Nov 2013), $104.5 million Andy Warhol (Nov 2013), and even a $3.4 million Emily Carr (Nov 2013).

The prices are impressive and certainly are proof of a solid art market, however, what does this mean to those of us who can’t afford multimillion dollar works of art? How do we determine value in terms of what we can afford?

As the world focuses on “price” and “investment”, we prefer to concentrate on the reasons behind the price. We educate ourselves about each artist and analyze multiple factors: education, exhibition history, curatorial support, collections, commercial success, awards, critical acknowledgment, and most importantly artistic merit.

Therefore, with this exhibition, I have methodically chosen specific works of art by artists from our gallery who I feel embody these qualities. The main gallery features artwork by Greg Curnoe, Aganetha Dyck, Paterson Ewen, Gathie Falk, Murray Favro, Will Gorlitz, Wanda Koop, Ron Martin, Ron Moppett, David Urban and Ed Zelenak. While choosing each artwork, I thought about the history of each artist and selected pieces that strongly represent each artist. As it turned out, each artist is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada and many of the pieces that I selected are quite rare, early, unique works of art.

As a way to explore the idea of value further, I have hung in our middle gallery artwork that is priced under $5000. By using price as a restriction, I want to show the diversity of what can be collected within a smaller budget. Artwork by emerging artists Ashleigh Bartlett, Erik Olson and James Kirkpatrick hang next to works by more established artists Jordan Broadworth, Roly Fenwick, John Scott, Michael Smith and David Sorensen. I also consciously chose under $5000 works of art by a few of the artists hanging in the front gallery: Aganetha Dyck, Gathie Falk, Wanda Koop and Ed Zelenak.

Jennie Kraehling, Associate Director


For further reading about collecting, here is a list of some recent publications from our bookshelf about Collecting Art:

“Art and Value” by Michael Findlay
“Collecting Art for Love, Money & More” by Ethan Wagner & Thea Westreich Wagner
“Collecting Contemporary Art” by Adam Lindemann
“The $12 Million Stuffed Shark” by Donald N. Thompson
“The Art of Buying Art: An Insiders Guide to Collecting Contemporary Art” by Paige West
“Seven Days in the Art World” by Sarah Thornton
“I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon)” & “I Bought Andy Warhol” by Richard Polsky