Chuck Close (b. 1940, Monroe, Washington). Lives and works in New York.
A major figure of the 20th and 21st-century painting, Chuck Close is an American artist known for his monumental portraits which are rendered with exquisite realism taken from photographic sources. His large-scale pieces are some of the greatest examples photorealism has to offer from its artistic arsenal. Playing with ideas of scale, color and form, Close has become additionally famous for his fabulous compositions which, although abstract up close, form unified and highly lifelike images when looked from afar. Besides this Impressionism-like practice, Chuck is also active in the field of photography.
Almost all of Close’s work is based on the use of a grid as an underlying basis for the representation of an image. This simple but surprisingly versatile structure provides the means for “a creative process that could be interrupted repeatedly without…damaging the final product, in which the segmented structure was never intended to be disguised.” It is important to note that none of Close’s images are created digitally or photo-mechanically. While it is tempting to read his gridded details as digital integers, all his work is made the old-fashioned way – by hand.
For more than six decades, Close has captured his friends and family in portraits that are as abstract as they are realistic, executed in a diverse range of media and techniques. The vehicles for Close’s mark-making range from oil paint, airbrush, and finger printing, to paper pulp, colored pencil, and photography—including the Daguerreotype, which, like the artist’s jacquard tapestries, revived a centuries-old-tradition, propelling an antiquated technique into the modern era.
Selected public collections:
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA
Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, USA
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, USA
Tate Britain, London, UK
Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany
Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
Leeum – Samsung Museum of Art, Seul, South Korea