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Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze

Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze

September 29, 2019–February 2, 2020

Now extended through February 2


Jordan Casteel, (U.S.A., b. 1989), Marcus and Jace, 2015. Oil on canvas, 72 x 54 in. Adam Green Art Advisory on behalf of a private collection. © Jordan Casteel. Image courtesy of Sargent's Daughters, New York

Freidenrich Family Gallery (221)

Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze is the first solo museum show for Harlem-based artist Jordan Casteel. Featuring paintings made in the last five years, Casteel’s large-scale portraits of Harlem community members are intimate portrayals of often overlooked members of society. In her own words, “I’ve always had an inclination toward seeing people who might be easily unseen.” Casteel’s deeply empathetic approach to portraiture makes her one of the most important emerging artists working today. 

Read what Juxtapoz Magazine says about Jordan Casteel and her exhibition at the Cantor, now extended through February 2, 2020.

Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze is organized by the Denver Art Museum. Read more about Casteel at the Cantor in our press release.

Read KQED's Fall Arts Preview about the exhibition.

The story behind Yvonne and James (2017)

During the Cantor’s opening and First Friday celebration in October 2019, Jordan Casteel discussed her creative process with John & Jill Freidenrich Director of the Cantor Arts Center Susan Dackerman. In this conversation, Casteel told the story about her painting of Yvonne and James, a couple she met in Harlem, giving us a glimpse into their relationship and how these two characters became as much part of Casteel’s life as they are now part of her portfolio. 

Casteel makes use of her camera to capture her encounters with her subjects, allowing her to slow down boisterous street life and provide enough detail of the individuals that she interacts with so that she can come back to them, study their mannerisms, what they wear, and even their inner lives, when she returns to her studio. The camera helps her -- and us by extension -- give a detailed focus on her sitters.

Click below to watch as Jordan recounts the story of Yvonne and James.


Click to watch the story.
Click to discover the story behind this portrait

Jordan Casteel (U.S.A., b. 1989), Yvonne and James, 2017. Oil on canvas, 90 x 78 in. © Jordan Casteel. The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection, San Francisco. Image courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York

Visit Us

The Cantor is open to the public, Wednesdays–Sundays 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. We’re always free. Advance registration is not required, but it helps us plan if we know who's coming.

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The Cantor Arts Center is located at the intersection of Museum Way and Lomita Drive in the heart of the arts district on the Stanford campus. The Cantor faces the Bing Concert Hall across Palm Drive, northwest of The Oval and the Main Quad.

328 Lomita Drive at Museum Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5060

How to Get Here


Parking is limited. Stanford has a new contactless process to pay for parking, using the ParkMobile app, website, or phone. Prior to your visit, we recommend you visit the Stanford Transportation website to learn more about the updated visitor parking process.

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