American 20th-21st Century Portraits and Figurative Art


This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American 20th-21st Century Portraits and Figurative Art." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the date of publication in Resource Library.

Following the listing of Resource Library articles and essays is the heading "TFAO references." Periodically TFAO conducts keyword searches from the Resource Library homepage relating to this topic. The count of pages within Resource Library citing the keywords indicates breadth of coverage in Resource Library for this topic. We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.

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Articles and essays from Resource Library with most recent listed first:

Don Coen: The Migrant Series (3/3/15)

Monterey Now: Warren Chang, with essays by Charlotte Eyerman and Karen Crews Hendon (1/20/15)

William Beckman: Drawings, 1967-2013 (6/23/14)

Body of Grace: the Art of Kamal Youssef; essay by V. Scott Dimond (6/15/14)

Jacob Collins: Recent Work (10/11/13)

Nelson Shanks: A Brush with Reality (7/11/13)

Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity (4/18/13)

Westchester Women & War: Portraits (7/14/12)

L.A. RAW: Abject Expressionism in Los Angeles 1945-1980, From Rico Lebrun to Paul McCarthy (2/9/12)

Mavis Smith: Hidden Realities (11/22/11)

Alice Neel: Painted Truths (4/2/10)

Ralph Borge: A Symbolic Realist and His Circle (1/16/10)

Robert January, Caves - Curveballs - Canvas; essay by Philip Eliasoph (11/7/09)

Will Barnet: Works of Seven Decades (5/5/09)

An Innermost Journey: The Art of Shauna Cook Clinger (12/26/08)

The Pursuit of Form; essay by Peter Campion (11/6/08)

David Park's Works on Paper; essay by Lance Esplund (11/6/08)

Ann Gale's Interstitial Portraits; essay by Mark Van Proyen (11/6/08)

Andrew Stevovich: The Truth about Lola; essay by Bartholomew F. Bland (10/10/08)

Realist Paintings by Bryan LeBoeuf; essay by Jay Williams (6/19/08)

The Figure Revealed: Contemporary American Figurative Paintings and Drawings (5/29/08)

D.J. Hall Thirty-Five Year Retrospective (5/28/08)

Portraits of Women: Re-seeing the Collection (4/25/08)

In the Face of Change; essay by Jennifer Bailey Forbes (2/8/08)

Ann Gale (11/6/07)

Portrait, Identity, Culture: Across Time, Space and Meaning (10/22/07)

Signs of Intelligent Life; essay by Claudia Schmuckli (9/17/07)

Lincoln Perry: Paintings; text by Michael Culver (8/4/07)

Personal Jesus: The Religious Works of Keith Haring and Andy Warhol (5/30/07)

Marilyn Monroe: Life as a Legend (3/27/07)

The Artist Revealed: Artist Portraits and Self-Portraits (2/21/07)

Cecily Brown (11/28/06)

Urban Isolation: Figurative Paintings by York Chang and Yu Ji (11/3/06)

James Michaels: Passion for Paint, essay by Todd Behrens (10/20/06)

Alex Katz Paints Ada (10/4/06)

Portraits of Dancer Rudolf Nureyev by Artist James Wyeth Acquired by Brandywine River Museum (10/02/06)

Slow Painting: A Deliberate Renaissance, with essays entitled "Realism: The Path to Beauty" by James F. Cooper, "A New Direction in Art Education - The New Academies, Andy Warhol and a New Aesthetic Movement" by Dr. Gregory Hedberg, and Distinguishing the Essential From the Accidental" by D. Jeffrey Mims (9/28/06)

Factory Work: Warhol, Wyeth and Basquiat (7/31/06)

Posed at Midcentury: Master Drawings by Bay Area Figuratives (7/31/06)

Weird and Wonderful:  Graphics by Leonard Baskin (6/29/06)

Julie Heffernan: Everything That Rises (4/20/06)

Edward Hopper: An Artist in Pursuit of Desire; essay by Matt Backer (3/24/06)

"Black Spirit": Works on Paper by Eldzier Cortor; essay by Matt Backer (3/22/06)

Robert Henri: La Reina Mora; essay by Michael Andrew Marlais (2/20/06)

Gladys Nilsson: Recent Works (2/1/06)

Project Series: Clare E. Rojas / Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University; essay by Katie Geha (1/31/06)

Lee Baxter Davis (1/31/06)

Kiki Smith: A Gathering, 1980-2005 (11/21/05)

Chuck Close: Self-Portraits 1967-2005 (11/21/05)

Bruce Erikson: Unravel (11/21/05)

MOCA Focus: Jennifer Bornstein (11/21/05)

Joyce Treiman: Paintings, Drawings and Prints (10/25/05)

Hawaiian Idyll: The Prints of John Kelly (9/20/05)

The Portraits of Robert Henri: Context and Influences; article by Valerie Ann Leeds (8/2/05)

Chuck Close Prints; essay by Terrie Sultan (6/13/05)

Bert Carpenter: Persistence of Realism; essay by Sam Yates (5/9/05)

Mirror Mirror: Portraits, Profiles, and Portrayals (4/29/05)

Chuck Close: Self-Portraits 1967-2005 (4/20/05)

Susan Ricker Knox (1874 - 1959); essay by Deborah M. Child and Jane D. Kaufmann (4/19/05)

Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration (4/14/05)

Nelson Shanks: Paintings and Drawings; essay by Peter F. Blume (3/30/05)

American Women: A Selection from the National Portrait Gallery (1/28/05)

Gerald L. Brockhurst (1890-1978), A Retrospective from the William P. Brumfield Memorial Collection; essay by Abe M. Tahir Jr. (1/22/05)

Samuel L. Schmucker: The Golden Age of Postcards (12/22/04)

Joseph Stella: Madonnas & Related Work; essay by Irma B. Jaffe (12/14/04)

The Elegant Line: Early Prints by Richard Diebenkorn (10/25/04)

Guy Pène du Bois: The Twenties at Home and Abroad (8/27/04)

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Made in America (8/24/04)

The W.P.A. Era: Art Across America (8/17/04)

Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures (8/17/04)

Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures (8/13/04)

Hal Frater: A Retrospective (7/1/04)

Heartland: Paintings by Bo Bartlett, 1978-2002 (6/15/04)

Jack Smith: Taos Portraits (6/11/04)

Eric Bransby: Draftsman and Muralist; essay by William Underwood Eiland (4/28/04)

American Portraiture: The Figurative Works of Wayman Adams (3/18/04)

Fair Dreams: The Art of Gerald Leslie Brockhurst (4/9/04)

Evolving Identities: Figurative Work from the 19th Century to Now (2/4/04)

Contemporary Figurative Painting (2/4/04)

Chuck Close: Prints and Process; essay by June Lambla (2/2/04)

The Italians -- From South Philadelphia to Jersey City (1/29/04)

Chuck Close: Prints and Process (1/29/04)

Alison Van Pelt: The Women (1/12/04)

Drawn to Perfection: Jean and Paul Ulen and the Slade School Legacy in Cleveland; essay by Christopher Bedford and Marianne Berardi (1/7/04)

Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration (1/2/04)


Click here for more articles and essays on this subject published in:




TFAO references:

A 11/29/13 search within TFAO's digital library retrieved:


From other websites:

A Broken Beauty: Figuration, Narrative and the Transcendent in North American Art, from Laguna Art Museum. Accessed 3/14. go to Focus on the Figure: Southern California Artists (1850-1950) sells a great many of the American art books in print. Amazon has a feature that allows people on the Web to read text inside books. To use this feature, search in "books," then enter title of book. When book is selected go to "look inside" and read sample pages of the book selected, which may include color images of the front cover, front flap, table of contents, excerpt such as the introduction chapter, alphabetical index, back flap and back cover. Also, some books have a word search feature, which enables registered individuals to search inside the books and pull up individual pages containing the selected words. [Click here for more on's project and other digitizing initiatives.] See the following books: Bay Area Figurative Art: 1950-1965 by Caroline A. Jones (search inside); Celebrity Caricature in America by Wendy Wick Reaves

As It Happened: Works by Sanit Khewhok, an exhibit held July 08, 2010 - October 10, 2010 at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Accessed January, 2015.

Bearing Witness: Daniel Heyman, an exhibit held January 15 - March 13, 2011 at the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University. Includes "portraits of individuals who have endured great personal hardship - former Abu Ghraib detainees, African American fathers who have been in and out of jail, and new immigrants to the United States." Accessed February, 2015

Exotic Muses: Dancers by Robert Henri and Nick Cave, an exhibit held January 24 - July 8, 2012 at the Mead Art Museum. Includes audio clips interpreting artworks in the exhibit. Accessed February, 2015

Figure Study: The Fourteenth Street School and the Woman in Public, an exhibit held August 26 - December 23, 2011 at The Fralin Museum of Art, University of Virginia. Texts include exhibit labels. Accessed May, 2014

From American Society of Portrait Artists see The National Academy: A Legacy of Fine Arts, by Jennifer Hebblethwaite and Art and Law: Derivative Works And Copyright · Painting from Another's Photograph; by Mary Ann Fergus

"Art, AIDS, and Ethics" by Kate Scannell, MD., Virtual Mentor. April 2006, Volume 8, Number 4: 271-276. Accessed 3/14.

E. Roscoe Shrader, an exhibit held October 31, 2010-January 23, 2011 at the Laguna Art Museum. Includes online curator's lecture video. Accessed February, 2015.

Everett Raymond Kinstler: Pulps to Portraits, June 14 - September 28, 2012 from Bellarmine Museum of Art Accessed 3/14

Fay Jones: Painted Fictions, an exhibit held November 18, 2006 - January 20, 2007 at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University. Includes News Release and Educator Resources. Accessed January, 2015.

Hope Gangloff: Love Letters, an exhibit held January 30 to June 5, 2011 at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art Accessed 4/14

Jenny Dubnau: Head On, an exhibit held January 30 to June 5, 2011 at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art Accessed 4/14

John Paul Jones, an exhibit held October 31, 2010-January 23, 2011 at the Laguna Art Museum. Includes online panel discussion video. Accessed February, 2015.

Picturing Identity: The Allure of Portraiture, an exhibit held November 17, 2012 - February 17, 2013 at the Figge Art Museum. Includes image. Accessed 9/14.

Red Grooms: What's the Ruckus? an exhibit held June 29 - October 20, 2013 at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. Includes curator's essay and links to reviews. Accessed May, 2014

Salvatore Del Deo: Faces & Figures 1969 - 2012, an exhibit held February 6 - March 9, 2014 at the Cape Cod Museum of Art. Accessed June, 2014

The Singing Bird Room of Robert Lostutter, an exhibit held October 5, 2012 to January 6, 2013 at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum's website says: "In the early 1970s, a sojourn in Mexico and his love of nature led Robert Lostutter to seize upon a theme that came to define his mature style. A superb draftsman and watercolorist, he began making portraits of figures adorned with the plumage of tropical birds or the petals and leaves of orchids. Lostutter's mythic creatures are both disturbing and radiantly beautiful, fusions of animal and human, nature and culture." Accessed February, 2015

Tough by Nature: Portraits of Cowgirls and Ranch Women of the American West, an exhibit of the art of Lynda Lanker, a Eugene, Oregon, based artist, held July 01, 2012 to September 09, 2012 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. Accessed February, 2015

From National Portrait Gallery (US) 

Frank Lobdell Figure Drawings, an exhibit held November 11, 2009 - February 21, 2010 at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University. Includes press release. Accessed June, 2014

Go to Figurative and Portrait Art: 18-19th Century, 19-20th Century, 20-21st Century

Return to Topics in American Representational Art


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