Bringing the Art to You


Week #23

Untitled (Surrealist Portrait of a Woman), 1945, mixed media on paper, 12” x 9"

By 1945, after less than a decade of seriously pursuing her art, Dusti Bongé had already participated in several exhibits nationally, including in New York at the Mortimer Brandt Gallery, which at the time was run by Betty Parsons.

It was the time when Dusti’s work increasingly shifted from her early cubist inspired local scenes to her surrealist explorations inspired by dreams, the circus, and her readings of Freud and Jung. These surrealist works would often have human figures in them and several of those were in fact portraits. The portraits render their various subjects, most of them unknown to us, with dreamy expressions, or far off gazes, and mostly in somewhat unintelligible backgrounds of various colors and patterns.

This portrait of a woman clearly has hints of these surrealist qualities. Dusti shows the woman with eyes closed or turned downward. Her features are indicated with a remarkably sparse few black ink lines, which eventually dart off into the background with its detailed patterning, stippling, and cross hatching, hinting at a natural setting. The color palette in this portrait is more subdued than in many of her other surrealist pieces, dominated by muted greens, except for the brown and peach colors of the woman’s hair and skin. The colors are laid down quickly and the lines are applied with loose, confident marks, not belabored, all together giving the overall composition a spontaneous and dynamic quality.

Have you seen this work?

Do you or someone you know have this work in their collection? If so, we would love to hear from you.

We are continuously working to maintain as complete a record as possible, and to determine the location of all of Dusti Bongé's work. If you have any information on this or other works, you can contact us at [email protected]

We appreciate receiving any referrals to the existence and whereabouts of artworks by Dusti Bongé. Thank you.


Available in our store:



The definitive volume on artist Dusti Bongé, by J. Richard Gruber

Dusti Bongé, Art and Life: Biloxi, New Orleans, New York

Hard bound, 12” x 9”, 350 pages, over 500 color and b&w illustrations

Limited edition lithographs of two original

Dusti Bongé drawings. 

Shrimp Boats & Factories, Back Bay Biloxi I


Shrimp Boats & Factories, Back Bay Biloxi II

​12” x 16” drawing,  15” x 22” paper size

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Our mission: to promote the artistic legacy of Dusti Bongé (1903-1993)