Canadian West Coast Hermetics, The Metaphysical Landscape


Download a PDF of the Exhibition

This exhibition, was conceived by Gregg Simpson, and organized with Alvin Balkind of the University of British Columbia’s Fine Arts Gallery. The theme of the exhibition was the relationship of alchemy to surrealism, a project for which Simpson receieved a Canada Council grant in 1971, sponsored by VAG Chief Curator, Doris Shadbolt and former National Gallery Director, Richard Simmins. 

With a letter of introduction to the Parisian Surrealists from William Rubin of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Simpson went to Paris and began ended up arranging what would become the first exhibition of avant garde art from Canada’s west coast to tour Europe.

It was first shown at U.B.C., January 9-27, 1973. The touring schedule included installations at the Centre Culutrel Canadien in Paris, March 15-April 14 with subsequent stops in St. Brieuc (Brittany); Canada House (London, U.K.); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Charleroi, Belgium. The exhibition returned to Canada in 1974 to be shown at McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario.