Alleyn 65

I’ve been swimming in garbage of late, and as a result some of my finds take a while to get processed. This painting is a good example. I found it months ago and immediately thought it was really cool and very well done. Still, it went into my garage where it sat largely forgotten until yesterday, when I finally got around to doing some basic research on it.

(Note: all these photos are of high quality, so you can click on them and zoom in!)

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The top left is signed Alleyn 65. It didn’t take me long to find out that it was likely made in 1965 by Edmund Alleyn, a well regarded Quebec artist. The signature is very similar to ones seen in this Google image search. The work also bears resemblance to some on Alleyn’s bio for that time period; his “Période Technologique.” He died in Montreal on Christmas Eve, 2004 at the age of 73.

This piece is titled “Jour Z,” which I cannot seem to find reference to online.

By all accounts Alleyn was a brilliant artist, perhaps a bit ahead of his time. There was a retrospective of his work recently at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, and the National Gallery of Canada owns 11 of his pieces.

The painting is unfortunately a little bit damaged. There are a few stains from water dropping on it, and a few small places where the paint is chipped or the canvas ripped. However, I don’t think these issues take much away from the piece, and I suspect they could be restored fairly easily by a professional.

Assuming the painting was indeed done by Alleyn, it could be worth a fair bit of money. His work has sold at the Heffel auction house for between 1,256 and 16,250$. Because of the damage I expect that the upper part of that range is far out of reach, but I still think it’s likely that the painting could sell for somewhere in the four figures (for reference, this one is fairly large, roughly 32 x 21.5″). If not, maybe I’ll just keep it myself! I always thought it was really cool, even moreso now that I know its story.

Anyways, what do you think of the painting? And perhaps more importantly, what should I do with it? Let me know in the comments!

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29 thoughts on “Alleyn 65

  1. Matt says:

    Ace mate, fantastic find, even with the damages it has. Very cool. Congrats!

  2. How cool! Looks like an orgy going on there. Hope you sell it for major $$$s!

  3. Steve List says:

    I would contact a local art auction gallery and see what they think. They probably have an art expert that could confirm that it is an Edmund Alleyn and give you an estimate of what it might sell for. The damage looks like it is mostly near the edge and in a solid color area so shouldn’t be expensive to fix. If you decide to sell it, let the buyer fix it. If you keep it, have it fixed. Either way it is fantastic that you saved it from being trashed.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, that’s a cool find! I know there are art restorers who patch canvases and repair paint that’s been messed up. Might be worth it to find one, as a repaired painting could sell for more. Or perhaps the museum that owns some of his paintings would be interested. They always have art conservatives on staff or know of some. Good luck and let us know what happens!

  4. MP says:

    As an art historian specialized in 1950-1970 art, I say for certain you need to have it checked by an expert before anything else. I would suggest contacting the MACM (musée d’art contemporain de Montréal) as independent gallerists or appraisers vary in quality and specialization (and work ethics). Don’t ”have it fixed” as someone said before me, don’t touch it, I mean don’t even attempt to clean it in any way. Keep in inside, away from the light and in the best possible conditions (not too hot or too cold, not too dry or too humid). Basically try to keep the damages from worsening before anything else. It’s all fixable, but for someone with the right knowledge.
    Finally, I know monetary worth is a parameter to consider but I would encourage you to consider donating it if it turns out to be an Alleyn. Art education and preserving our heritage is super important, it does pain me to see works of art being hidden from view in private homes (though I understand the need for an art market). A smaller museum specializing in contemporary art (there are some in Rimouski, Joliette, Ste-Adèle, to name a few) might be especially interested since their collections are not as big as the MACM.
    Hope that helps, good luck with that !

  5. Christine Keefe says:

    I’d call the museum with the 11 pieces of Alleyn art and see what they recommend. Maybe they have someone on staff to authenticate it, and if not maybe they can recommend someone. Perhaps they’d be interested in acquiring it. If not, I’d have it auctioned off by the auction house that has auctioned his other pieces.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Keep in mind that the auction house will take a rather substantial chunk of what it sells for.
      Do NOT attempt to clean or repair it. Follow MP’s advice and seek professional opinion from MACM.
      You have rescued an interesting and possibly valuable piece of art from the garbage…what a wonderful thing. Congratulations!
      PS. If it’s worth anything, be careful and quiet about it. The person who threw it out may surface in a hurry.

  6. Great find, Martin! You’re getting lots of good advice. I hope you’re able to make a tidy sum with your Alleyn painting. 🙂

    I suggest you store your “found” art in your apartment in future. That’s why museums are climate controlled. http://wccfa.com/damage.html

  7. This is a beautiful find. I would not touch it to restore it until you have it authenticated and then decide what you want to do with it. The style of this painting fits perfectly with the style and colours Alleyn was working with in the late sixties, early seventies.http://edmundalleyn.com/works/periode-technologique-1965-70/

  8. Wow, what an interesting find! Please keep us updated with whatever adventure this piece takes you on!

  9. Jane Palmer says:

    Hope you’ll let us know how it all turns out! Such an interesting find – and saving it from the trash – just WOW! As for advice, I’d advocate following the advice given above about not trying to clean it, repair it, or doing anything to it until you’ve consulted one of the museums. Perhaps a museum will offer to buy it. Good Luck!

  10. Helen says:

    So exciting.

  11. Hope b. says:

    GREAT FIND. SELL IT IN THE WAY YOU CAN MAKE THE MOST MONEY.
    YOU ALREADY DONATE BY RECYCLING ALL THOSE OLD ELECTRONICS, AND BY KEEPING THINGS OUT OF LANDFILLS.

  12. Hopelessshade says:

    Please please please don’t go the back alley restorer’s route. Cheap up front, painfully expensive to you and the painting in the end. The museums in Montreal and the Canadian Conservation Institute should point you in a direction that future conservators will appreciate.

    Signed, a paintings conservator

  13. Nancy says:

    Get it restored. At least, please, please get a quote for restoring it. THEN sell it.

  14. Jacqueline Wright says:

    Follow Hopelessshade’s advice.

  15. […] current plan for the painting from my last post is to try to get a quote from a reputable art restoration company. I expect the repairs would cost […]

  16. Naomi Shelton says:

    What would I do with it? I would do as you are doing–get a quote from an art restoration person and have it restored. First, though, I’d try to determine how much it would sell for before I had the restoration done. Just to make sure it is worth enough to make the expense of the restoration worth it. Once restored and depending on the cost and the estimated value of the painting I would sell it in a hearbeat because it is not my type of art. That is, it’ not a piece that appeals to me at all and I would ever hang in my home.

    I’ll be interested to learn more about what you end up doing with the piece.

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