Expressive and colourful, it is marked by frenetic brushstrokes and textured surfaces. Twenty-five of his paintings are on display at The Gallery at Victoria Hall, selected from over thirty years of prolific work by the director of McClure Gallery, Victoria LeBlanc. I did, and did not, envy her this assignment: the joy of sifting through the many wild canvases, and the almost impossible task of choosing. It’s a great selection. Titled thinkers / thoughts, the exhibition focuses entirely on portraits, a pantheon of famous personages, from the world of art and literature, dead and alive. It includes Alberto Giacometti, Chaim Soutine, Umberto Eco, Trotsky, Samuel Beckett... to mention but a few. There is a portrait of Montreal photographer Gabor Szilasi, who gleefully posed beside it at the opening... The treatment varies slightly from painting to painting, but holds together as a body of work. One of the most expressive portraits is that of Argentine writer Jorge Borges, whose wide features rendered in bold colours against a dark background made this work stand out from the rest.

Rosshandler’s paintings are ‘absolutely fabulous’. Some seem to revel in colour and gesture, while others exude a more sombre aura, drawing attention to the face, and in particular, the eyes. The selection is versatile, yet all the works hold within them the uncompromising, playful, and spirited energy of the artist. They are exuberant and packed with psychological undertones that say as much about the model as they do about the painter. The indomitable nonagenarian was born in Amsterdam and studied at La Escuela de la Esmeralda in Mexico City, after which time art was his constant companion. The passion never eased, not even while he held the positions of Assistant Director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1968-1976) and the director of the Lavalin Collection (1977-1989).
He continues to paint.

 
LEO ROSSHANDLER
thinkers / thoughts
November 20 to December 13, 2014

The Gallery at Victoria Hall
4626 Sherbrooke Street
Westmount (Québec)
Tel: 514 989-5226

 

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Portrait de Federico Garcia Lorca (1999)

 
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Portrait d’Alberto Giacometti (1989)

 
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Portrait de Francisco Goya (1989)

 
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Portrait de Thomas Beckett (1986)

 
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Portrait de Borges