Untitled | Fiona J. Williams | Expressionist Portrait

  • Contemporary artist: Fiona J. Williams
  • Title Artwork: Untitled
  • Year: 2019
  • Technique: Acrylic on Canvas
  • Style: Expressionism
  • Size: 91cm x 60cm
  • Unframed
  • 2.500,00

Untitled | Fiona J. Williams | Expressionist Portrait

The description is written by curator Emi Eleode for the exhibition: Humans in their most Vulnerable Form.


Her face and background are indistinguishable. That faint, pencil sketch outlining the left side of the face and neck adds a slight definition to what is almost unclear to see. Typically, a portrait might have a composition where the face is centred in the middle, defined by an invisible border. However, this subject’s face has been spread wide across the canvas, blended together with various colours (black, blue, grey, red, brown and pink), used to highlight the different structures of her face such as the cheeks which have a stripe of pink and white that you could get from using a makeup blush and highlighter. The wavy, zig-zag stroke of the brush on canvas adds a touch of blurriness like there was a soft puff of smoke that the subject emerged from.

The left side of the face has more distinction compared to the right side, which almost disappears in the background. A light source like you would get from a reflector in photography to bounce backlight, hits all the contours of the face where it reflects it, such as the chin, bridge of the nose, and the top side of the left cheek. The white acrylic paint casts definition to that part of the face, bringing it forward in a 3D-esque way. Her pupils have that spinning effect like a cartoon character that has been hypnotised. Another curious thing is the red tones that have been used in the painting. Is it a matter of stylistic choice from the artist to add some colour to the dark portrait? Or does the use of red have a deeper meaning?

This expressionist work of art is part of Fiona’s ‘Faces and Feelings’ series.

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