A CBC New Brunswick Book List Selection
"The same stage, but different actors," explains Wilson. "There is something interesting to me about separating people from their environment, about keeping the focus on the individual. "
James Wilson’s studio portraits capture subjects from all walks of life. They document soldiers and street people, builders and bakers, artists and labourers. There is an intimate intensity in his photographs, which together form a timeless collage of life and faces from the early twenty-first century.
Wilson’s portraits are also the product of a purposeful gaze, distinctive observations in black-and-white. All window-lit, all photographed in his studio, all with the same black background, these photographic portraits open a door into the worlds and at times the unguarded emotions of the individual subjects.
James Wilson: Social Studies accompanies an exhibition that will open at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, NB, in June 2020.
John Leroux is an award-winning art historian, curator, and architect. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from McGill University and a Master of Arts in Art History from Concordia University and is currently the Manager of Collections and Exhibitions at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. He is the author of thirteen books including Building New Brunswick and The Lost City.
James Wilson has worked as a photographer for more than forty years, using large format cameras, both film and digital. Wilson is best known for his landscapes, still lifes, and black and white portrait studies. His work has been the subject of fifteen solo exhibitions and has been featured in numerous group exhibitions. His photographs are also included in many corporate, private, and public collections, including those of the National Gallery of Canada, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, and Canadian Embassies and Consulates in Europe, North Africa, and the United States.
"Wilson shares portraits of the very old and the very young, of the socially prominent and of the outcasts. All of his models are photographed using only natural light against a neutral grey background, a leveling effect that takes nothing away from the inherent dignity of each subject. "
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