Aundre Larrow
September 28, 2022 6:00 AM EDT

Jordan Casteel’s portraits invite us to meet their gaze. The artist is best known for detailed oil paintings that find subjects in her New York City community—usually African Americans, always people of color—staring out at the viewer, their expressions confident but also open. She’s explained that these “portraits are about engaging with my community, or my landscape, with mutual respect.” The intimate connections she forges, within and across social worlds, through fluid brushwork that balances poetry and precision, have fueled a rapid rise. Following her acclaimed solo show at the New Museum in 2020, Casteel’s canvases have been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, exhibited abroad, and, last year, won her a MacArthur “genius” grant. This fall brings her New York City homecoming, with “In bloom” at Casey Kaplan gallery, a show of new work that juxtaposes more arresting portraiture with vibrant, floral landscapes. In expanding her repertoire to the natural world, Casteel makes yet another inextricable connection, between people and the ecosystems they occupy.

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