CM March 22, 
1996. Vol. II, Number 23

image Depth Markers:
Selected Art Writings 1985-1994.

James D. Campbell.
Toronto: ECW Press, 1995. 397pp, paper, $25.00.
ISBN: 1-55022-244-9.

Subject Headings:
Painting, Modern-20th century-Canada.
Painting, Canadian.

Review by Grace Shaw.

**1/2 /4


What is perhaps the most haunting of these portraits and sites (of Krausz) is not the dramatic specificity of their portrayal -- the conviction and solemnisation of their focus and their execution -- but the psychic intensity one intuits working there, that intangible aureole of clairvoyant intent that permeates imaged and abstracted spaces alike.

It might be interesting to speculate about how many intellectual connoisseurs of art there are in Canada. James D. Campbell's wide-ranging collection of forty essays on Canadian and international art (most previously published between 1966 and 1994 in a variety of sources) is truly erudite, a work of art in words. An art lover and analyst, the author seeks to "think through some of the true meanings of art" by absorbing the physical manifestations of the works and then looking intensely inwards.


For those who can travel with him, Campbell offers a unique and rare journey, perhaps uncharted in this country. There is a beauty in his language; it is a poetry of the esoteric that a special audience will savour and enjoy.

But the more mundane of us might question the need for using two large words when one small one would do; is it bafflegab? Keep your dictionary handy.

Perhaps every book needs to be written, fills a void -- in this case, in the culture of visual art and its exposition. Depth Markers fills that space.

Not recommended for high school libraries, but will provide a challenge for university readers and serious humanities patrons.

Grace Shaw is a teacher at Vancouver Community College.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364