The eyes of contemporary portraiture

A+sample+of+Audrey+Flack%E2%80%99s+portraits+on+exhibit+at+the+Williams+Center+Arts+Gallery.+%5BPhoto+by+Julia+Brennan+%E2%80%9817+%5D

A sample of Audrey Flack’s portraits on exhibit at the Williams Center Arts Gallery. [Photo by Julia Brennan ‘17 ]

Audrey Flack’s exhibit “Heroines” graces the Williams Center for the Arts Gallery

Compared to the likes of Michelangelo and Raphael, internationally renowned artist, Audrey Flack, brings portraiture to the 21st century at Williams Arts Gallery.

Known for her photorealistic drawing talents, Flack has degrees in fine arts from prestigious universities, such as Cooper Union, Yale University, and New York University. She began her work in the 1950s with abstract paintings, but she trained herself to draw in a much more realistic style, and gradually she found her way into photorealism.

“I was never really taught drawing. When I went to school you had to be abstract – we were taught not to shade,” Flack said.

Through studying Bernini, Flack began to develop her photorealist style, copying some works she felt passion for. She always has been intent on the handmade practice. All of her works are done by hand, rather than on a computer.

“There’s something that happens in my brain [when I begin to draw]…My brain has to take in three-dimensional objects and flatten each part of them to turn them into lines,”

Even if her prints of the original aren’t drawn by hand, she continues her work by sketching directly on the image, and adding mixed media layers by hand.

“…with a computer, you lose that part of you… and you have to be very careful about losing that part of you,” Flack said.

Her show in the Williams Center Gallery, entitled “Heroines,” is a series of mixed media prints and drawings based off women of historic and symbolic context. A great deal of her images focus on the work of Bernini, who, as Professor Mattison, Professor of Art, said, “creates dramatic highlights and deep pools of shadow,” which are key elements in Flack’s work.

Throughout the exhibit, visitors can find a series of recognizable images, from Marilyn Monroe, to the face of St. Teresa in Ecstacy, yet Flack brings in bits and pieces that personify the grayness of charcoal or pastel. She adds glitter to the tears of Daphne, flowers to the frame of Marilyn, and sexual text to the image of Teresa.

Flack’s current works on display at the Williams Center gallery, “…speak to her profound belief in the potency of visual imagery and the importance of the creative impulse. Much of her art utilizes heroines who embodies the artist’s ideas about the human condition,” Mattison said.

“Heroines” is now on display at Williams Center for the Arts Gallery. Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 12-5 p.m.