Samantha Wall at the Whatcom Museum

Up Close & Personal: The Body in Contemporary Art 
October 30, 2021 – February 27, 2022; Lightcatcher building

Curated by Amy Chaloupka from the Collection of Driek and Michael Zirinsky

The extended isolation of the pandemic has undeniably affected our collective consciousness, especially our heightened awareness of the body and its vulnerabilities.

Sharing life “in-person” once again is a celebratory moment, but also a cause for self-reflection. How will we wish to operate moving forward within our own bodies, and also in caring for and considering the bodies of others?

The exhibition Up Close & Personal examines the human body through the expressive lens of nearly 60 artists. Some explore the many ways we communicate with one another—through facial expression, body language, self-presentation, and performance. Others boldly envision narratives and representations of the self through the use of their own bodies in their work. Artists are acutely aware that all bodies reside at the dynamic intersection of gender, class, race, sexuality, age, and ability. These compelling portrayals of the figure are situated at these crossroads of identity and point toward countless possibilities for human connection and understanding.

Up Close & Personal is generously presented from the renowned collection of Driek and Michael Zirinsky. The dynamic selection of work, expressing a range of processes and ideas, allows visitors to get up close and personal with the mindset of the artists as represented in the selections of these lifelong collectors of art.