Artist Kesha Bruce’s work regularly features abstract portraits of unknown figures. Sometimes they’re called angels, sometimes totems. In her latest series, “The Guardians,” now on view at Morton Fine Art, she paints “spirits who act as watchers, keepers, and protectors.” The element of watching comes across most vividly in “Birbal” (pictured), a head in shades of red and black with two white eyes that appear to penetrate the linen on which it’s painted. Other works in the series are less representative, prompting the viewer to ponder how these figures act as protectors. Bruce’s combination of materials gives the pieces a tactile quality, pulling the guardians off the canvas and towards those they keep safe. The exhibition is on view Tuesdays through Saturdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays noon to 5 p.m., to Jan. 6 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. Free. (202) 628-2787. mortonfineart.com.