Marisa Portolese

January 13 - February 10, 2007

The human body, contemporary portraiture and the figure in the landscape are the direct base to Marisa Portolese’s artistic practice.  In 2002, she presented Belle de Jour which is a survey of large-scale color photographs depicting women in various states of undress, masquerading different roles, to call into question an idealized vision of femininity.  The next year, she worked on male portraits in nature, making visual references to the German Romantic Landscape tradition. Then, with The Recognitions, the portraits in this body of work brought together a cast of characters that were immersed in their own enigmatic situation and emotional landscape.

Marisa Portolese’s latest body of work Breathless proposes to reveal the fragile inner sanctum of her protagonists, by creating images that dwell on introspective poses that carry a disquieting emotional charge, and deal with the fragility of the human psyche.

Portolese is interested in imagery that is compelling in its vulnerability and that is imbued with the greatest sensual, physical and psychological presence. The photographs in this new series comprise of portraits, still life and landscape probing a range of corporal and cerebral experiences.

The work of Marisa Portolese has been presented in several shows throughout Canada, in the United States and in Europe.  Her photographs will also be presented in the retrospective on the 20th century Canadian Art, One, Two, A Hundred, A Thousand Canada. A Polyedric Culture, curated by Diana Nemiroff, presented in Milano (Italy) in spring 2007.

The artist would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts for its generous support and Concordia University for  the CASA, SEED Research Grant.

Press release