Modern Portraits

By admin on October 12, 2017

Portraits in the Now” is our newest exhibition in the Upper Gallery! Through media such as charcoal, graphite, photography, and oil, this exhibition features a wide range of portraits by our artist members. Notably, many artists interpreted “in the now” differently—some chose a portrait image in a modernist style, while others created a portrait that speaks to present-day life. The classic interpretation is on view as well.

Explore a selection of noteworthy modern portraits below!

Thomas Darsney, Cleopatra. Oil on canvas, 32 x 32”

This dual portrait by Thomas Darsney challenges the idea of what a portrait can be. Despite the bust of Cleopatra in the center, our attention is drawn to the girl posing alongside her. This leads us to wonder, who is the primary subject?

Oana Lauric, Two Way Contemplation (The Portrait Painter). Acrylic on canvas, 32 x 32”

Like Thomas Darsney’s piece, Oana Lauric captures two different portraits in one painting. Speaking about her work, Lauric says that “The painter contemplates the model, the model contemplates the painter.” It is “a circular story from which no one comes unchanged.”

Beth Rundquist, CA, Bedhead. Oil on linen, 24 x 20”

Beth Rundquist mixes realism with abstraction in Bedhead. In this portraiture style, Rundquist plays up the idea of an unkempt hairdo through expressive brushstrokes. These brushstrokes can be seen throughout her painting, from the swooping, tousled hair, to the gestural or implied brushstrokes on the man’s shoulder.

Jack Morefield, K. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48”

In K, Jack Morefield handles busy spots of color with ease and control. Intriguingly, the whimsical background is set against the model’s shrouded, brooding stare. This juxtaposition sets the playful yet dark mood of the piece.

Tim Rakarich, Insubordinate is the New Pretty. Oil on canvas, 24 x 24”

In Insubordinate is the New Pretty, Tim Rakarich depicts this modern-day woman as a strong, powerful, unabashed force. In her macho Evel Knievel jumpsuit, the model sits in an “unladylike” pose to show that she does not conform to gender stereotypes. Sitting on a throne with bloodied knuckles, she emits her power as a strong fighter.

Leslie Baker, CM, Miriam in Jumpsuit. Graphite pencil, 40 x 29”

The retro 1980s clothing in Miriam in Jumpsuit brings attention to the ever-changing fashion staples of each decade. The lines of Miriam’s jumpsuit are loose and feathery, which could gently evoke another time period.

Doug Adams, CA, Old Man of Jaffna. Digital photography, 26 x 38”

In the photograph Old Man of Jaffna, we see a close-up of a man who lives in the capital of Sri Lanka. Without any contextual clues besides the man’s face, the man’s story is veiled in mystery. Describing his work, Doug Adams claims that “The thread that is woven throughout my images is my passion for the human spirit, my interest in human behavior and the richness, texture, beauty and uniqueness in all cultures.”


Matthew McCosco, Unveiling. Charcoal, 18 x 22”

Like Doug Adams’ photograph, Matthew McCosco’s Unveiling features a mysterious figure. While many portraits aim to reveal the truth of its subject, Unveiling seeks to keep its subject’s identity hidden. In an age where intimate details about one’s life can now be shared publicly online, Unveiling is a reminder that anonymity is sometimes sacred.


Portraits in the Now” is on view in the Upper Gallery through November 2nd

Spaces,” Kristin Stashenko’s solo exhibition, is also on view in the Red Room Gallery through November 2nd.