Today we are highlighting the work Chest X-ray by Canadian/American artist Les Levine. This is one of the earliest acquisitions in the Mendel Art Gallery Collection at Remai Modern, coming into the collection in 1965. The work is currently on view in the exhibition An apology, a pill, a ritual, a resistance.
In the work, the artist’s body is in detailed view. Marked with the stamp “1 3 7 4 8 5 | The Wellesley Hospital | Toronto | Ontario | 10 9 64,” this screen print of an X-ray reproduces and shares medical assessment and diagnosis, a process that is normally private. The artist lets us see inside his chest, giving us the chance to inspect his ribs and lungs, and wonder what was wrong. How was he treated? By turning a medical assessment image into an artwork, his also gives us an opportunity to soak in the haunting spectacle of his insides as an aesthetic experience.
Chest X-ray is on view at Remai Modern until August 22, 2021, as part of the exhibition An apology, a pill, a ritual, a resistance.