Oil portrait paintings - FineArtConnoisseur.com
Louise Gillis, “Noah at Bde Maka Ska,” oil on canvas, 11 x 14 in.

Douglas Flanders & Associates presents a unique exhibition of portrait paintings by eight Twin Cities–based artists, each with an individually masterful approach.

From the organizers:

This exhibition features the original portrait painting styles of Kristie Bretzke,Todd Clercx, Louise Gillis, Luke Hillestad, Richard Kochenash, Jeffrey T. Larson, Steven J. Levin, and Lois Rhomberg. All are masters at capturing the essential character of their subjects in unique ways.

The tradition of portrait painting in the West dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. From early heroic and idealistic representations to later realistic depictions, portraiture was key to recording the human presence. Portrait painting style has continued to evolve through the centuries and still today offers more varied expressive opportunities than the flatness of photographs.

Oil portrait paintings - FineArtConnoisseur.com
Kristie Bretzke, Coal Room Series, “Carl Bretzke,” 2018, oil on linen, 30 x 24 in.

Kristie Bretzke displays her expertise in using light to evoke emotion and mood in her portraits. Classical but contemporary and straightforward, her portraits engage the viewer on numerous levels by stirring up compassion for her subjects, revealing their strengths, and even suggesting individual worldviews through their eyes.

Oil portrait paintings - FineArtConnoisseur.com
Todd Clercx, “Maya,” 2008, oil on canvas, 29.5 x 23.5 in.

Todd Clercx is a contemporary impressionist; he brings out the light emanating from the colors of everyday life. Each of his expressive portraits is as distinct as the individuals in them. Clercx captures the personality and life in his subjects, allowing us to feel we really know them.

Louise Gillis (work shown at top) is a classically trained painter who uses her knowledge of impressionistic color theory to create vibrancy and depth in her intimate portraits.

Oil portrait paintings - FineArtConnoisseur.com
Luke Hillestad, “Self-Portrait at 34,” 2016, oil on linen, 24 x 20 in.

Luke Hillestad employs the limited palette of fourth-century master Apelles of Kos (earth-based white, yellow, red, and black) to paint portraits that seem to breathe with individual vitality. His skilled use of chiaroscuro offers potential for narrative and mystery.

Oil portrait paintings - FineArtConnoisseur.com
Richard Kochenash, “Portrait of Charles,” oil on canvas, 36 x 24 in.

Richard Kochenash is a plein air artist whose oil paintings capture his surroundings with gestural impressionistic force. In his portrait paintings he complements his knowledge of his subjects with preliminary photographs to reveal a sense of time and expression in each individual.

Oil portrait paintings - FineArtConnoisseur.com
Jeffrey T. Larson, “Heidi, Tea Time,” 2006, oil on linen, 32 x 32 in.

Jeffrey T. Larson is a classically trained artist renowned for adeptly capturing in his paintings the simple and beautiful pleasures of contemporary life. His portraits are luminous, painterly, open, and fresh.

Oil portrait paintings - FineArtConnoisseur.com
Steven J. Levin, “Self-Portrait,” 2005, oil on canvas, 40 x 32 in.

Steven J. Levin is a classical realist painter trained in traditional atelier techniques similar to those of 19th-century Paris. With a deep reverence for beauty and a thorough understanding of light and form, Levin’s paintings reveal his keen sense of space, dimension, and atmosphere.

Oil portrait paintings - FineArtConnoisseur.com
Lois Rhomberg, “Linda Brown,” 1995, oil on canvas, 21 x 23 in.

Lois Rhomberg paints people in large and small format, emphasizing their life spirit as well as their physical presence. Her portraits are known for their sensitive drawing, lively color, and emotional presence.

Numerous paintings by each artist are displayed in the exhibition, creating a veritable salon-style emporium of approaches to the portrait. Such a contemporary approach to presenting the time-honored tradition of portraiture is unique to the history of gallery exhibitions in the Twin Cities.

“Valuing Portraiture” is on view through March 2, 2019, at Douglas Flanders & Associates (Minneapolis, MN). Commissions are encouraged and can be arranged through Douglas Flanders & Associates.

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  1. Realmente excepcionales las pinturas. Parece imposible que hayan sido pintadas. Soy de Costa Rica y me gusta pintar paisajes, marinas. Realmente estoy iniciandome en la pintura al óleo. Es fascinante.


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