Intimate Portraits — James D. Campbell

[Fall 2019]

La Castiglione, Montreal
April 3–May 11, 2019

By James D. Campbell

Intimate Portraits brought together works by four artists whose preoccupation with the human body is a longstanding one: Donigan Cumming, JJ Levine, George Steeves, and Andrea Szilasi. Their works interrogate the nature of portraiture itself. What constitutes a truly intimate image? Where is the line drawn between a depiction of the body as such, with all its scar tissue and signs of attrition on display, and a still more extreme summoning: transgressive, death-bound, achingly finite? The body harrowed by disease, dolour, self-doubt . . . All of the participating artists crossed that line in pursuit of truth. The body here is a body in fragments; a tremulous private body in a state of perennial dismemberment.

The exhibition included several works by the brilliant photographic artist Andrea Szilasi that constituted a sort of mini-retrospective. These works all speak in thematic unison of the body as a problematizing target zone for interrogation and appraisal, and the endoskeleton for psychological states grafted on with unerring precision…

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