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An Exhibition of Drawings by Vernay Monroe

In this body of work I explore the relationship that humans have with the unknowable through the compositional exploration of the human figure juxtaposed with abstract architecture.


Using the value range allowed by graphite, I work precisely, creating a granular value effect similar to television static. This effect links these works to the vague images that our brains formulate after staring into the static for too long. Through the use of this material, I create subtly abstracted imagery that places emphasis on the enigmatic nature of the relationship between formal elements and the depicted figure. It is by way of this strategy that I am able to depict compelling and ambiguous situations, allowing for the essence of something unknowable to reside within the work and by extension, challenge the viewer. It is here that the careful construction associated with my interest in the act of observational drawing assists my work. Utilizing this skill allows for the creation of formal compositions that utilize abstract atmospheric elements to collocate realism against abstract architectural design work. This calls additional attention to the subject’s mundane, static, and pensive nature.


I do this all in an effort to prompt the careful observation of the image and to let the viewer’s subconscious decide what’s being observed. This is done to let the unknowable affect the viewer as it has the image. The compositional anatomy of these images compile an observation of known, familiar, information together and rearranges it to arrive at an uncanny image that alludes to the feeling of impotence when confronted by an inescapable concept.

This exhibition was selected to receive a 2023 Directors' Choice Award by Directors from all four schools within DAAP, alongside the Director of the DAAP Galleries. 

The Poppet Alt_edited.jpg

The Poppet

graphite on heavyweight drawing paper, 2023

6” x 6”

Obtuse Alt_edited.jpg


graphite on heavyweight drawing paper, 2023

6” x 6”

Shot II Alt_edited.jpg

Shot II

graphite on heavyweight drawing paper, 2023

6” x 6”

The Surveyor Alt_edited.jpg

The surveyor

graphite on heavyweight drawing paper, 2023

6” x 6”

Dissonance Alt_edited.jpg


graphite on heavyweight drawing paper, 2023

6” x 6”

The Occupier Alt_edited_edited.jpg

The occupier

graphite on heavyweight drawing paper, 2023

6” x 6”

additional documentation

Including images of my thesis exhibition reception and more...


In-progress image of "The Surveyor"


In-progress image of "Shot II"

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As seen in the showcase outside the DAAP Library


Thesis exhibition reception on March 29th


Thumbnails of potential compositions hanging in the studio

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