Chuck Close

Charles Thomas "Chuck" Close (born July 5, 1940) is an American painter, artist and photographer who achieved fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits. Close often paints abstract portraits of himself and others, which hang in collections internationally. Close also creates photo portraits using a very large format camera. Even though a catastrophic spinal artery collapse in 1988 left him severely paralyzed, he has continued to paint.

Chuck Close
Chuck Close
Chuck Close in 2009
Charles Thomas Close

July 5, 1940 (age 78)
EducationB.A., University of Washington, 1962; M.F.A., Yale University
Known forPhotorealistic painter, photographer

Early life and education

Chuck Close was born in Monroe, Washington.[1] His father, Leslie Durward Close, died when Chuck was eleven years old. His mother's name was Mildred Wagner Close.[2] Close suffered, as a child, from a neuromuscular condition that made it difficult to lift his feet and a bout with nephritis that kept him out of school for most of sixth grade. Even when in school, he did poorly due to his dyslexia, which wasn't diagnosed at the time.[3]

Most of his early works are very large portraits based on photographs, using Photorealism or Hyperrealism, of family and friends, often other artists. He suffers from prosopagnosia (face blindness), and has suggested that this condition is what first inspired him to do portraits.[4]

In an interview with Phong Bui in The Brooklyn Rail, Close describes an early encounter with a Jackson Pollock painting at the Seattle Art Museum: "I went to the Seattle Art Museum with my mother for the first time when I was 14.[5] I saw this Jackson Pollock drip painting with aluminum paint, tar, gravel and all that stuff. I was absolutely outraged, disturbed. It was so far removed from what I thought art was. However, within 2 or 3 days, I was dripping paint all over my old paintings. In a way I've been chasing that experience ever since."[6]

Close attended Everett Community College in 1958–60.[7] Local notable eccentric, author, activist and journalist John Patric was an early anti-establishment intellectual influence on him, and a role model for the iconoclastic and theatric artist's persona Close learned to project in subsequent years.[8]

In 1962, Close received his B.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle. In 1961, he won a coveted scholarship to the Yale Summer School of Music and Art,[7] and the following year entered the graduate degree program at Yale University, where he received his MFA in 1964. Among Close's classmates at Yale were Brice Marden, Vija Celmins, Janet Fish, Richard Serra, Nancy Graves, Jennifer Bartlett, Robert Mangold, and Sylvia Plimack Mangold.[9]

After Yale, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna on a Fulbright grant.[10] When he returned to the US, he worked as an art teacher at the University of Massachusetts. Close came to New York City in 1967 and established himself in SoHo.[9]



Chuck Close 1
Mark (1978 - 1979), acrylic on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York. Detail at right of eye. This is a photorealistic painting representative of Close's earlier style, in contrast to his later "pictorial syntax" using "many small marks of paint".[11] Laboriously constructed from a series of cyan, magenta, and yellow airbrushed layers that imitated CMYK color printing,[12] it took Close fourteen months to complete. Compare the picture's integrity close up with the later work below, executed through a different technique.
Chuck Close 2
Lucas (1986 - 1987), oil and graphite on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York. Detail at right of eye. Representative of his "later, more colorful and painterly style", "the elements of the picture are seen as separate abstract markings" when viewed close-up, while simultaneously maintaining the illusion of a realistic portrait at a distance.[13] The pencil grid and thin undercoat of blue is visible beneath the splotchy "pixels." The painting's subject is fellow artist Lucas Samaras.

Throughout his career, Chuck Close has expanded his contribution to portraiture through the mastery of such varied drawing and painting techniques as ink, graphite, pastel, watercolor, conté crayon, finger painting, and stamp-pad ink on paper; printmaking techniques, such as Mezzotint, etching, woodcuts, linocuts, and silkscreens; as well as handmade paper collage, Polaroid photographs, Daguerreotypes, and Jacquard tapestries.[14] His early airbrush techniques inspired the development of the ink jet printer.[15]

Close had been known for his skillful brushwork as a graduate student at Yale University. There, he emulated Willem de Kooning and seemed "destined to become a third-generation abstract expressionist, although with a dash of Pop iconoclasm".[9] After a period in which he experimented with figurative constructions, Close began a series of paintings derived from black-and-white photographs of a female nude, which he copied onto canvas and painted in color.[16] As he explained in a 2009 interview with Cleveland, Ohio's The Plain Dealer newspaper, he made a choice in 1967 to make art hard for himself and force a personal artistic breakthrough by abandoning the paintbrush. "I threw away my tools", Close said. "I chose to do things I had no facility with. The choice not to do something is in a funny way more positive than the choice to do something. If you impose a limit to not do something you've done before, it will push you to where you've never gone before."[17] One photo of Philip Glass was included in his resulting black-and-white series in 1969, redone with watercolors in 1977, again redone with stamp pad and fingerprints in 1978, and also done as gray handmade paper in 1982.

Working from a gridded photograph, he builds his images by applying one careful stroke after another in multi-colors or grayscale. He works methodically, starting his loose but regular grid from the left hand corner of the canvas.[18] His works are generally larger than life and highly focused.[19] "One demonstration of the way photography became assimilated into the art world is the success of photorealist painting in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is also called super-realism or hyper-realism and painters like Richard Estes, Denis Peterson, Audrey Flack, and Chuck Close often worked from photographic stills to create paintings that appeared to be photographs. The everyday nature of the subject matter of the paintings likewise worked to secure the painting as a realist object."[20]

Close suffers from prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness, in which he is unable to recognize faces. By painting portraits, he is better able to recognize and remember faces.[21] On the subject, Close has said, "I was not conscious of making a decision to paint portraits because I have difficulty recognizing faces. That occurred to me twenty years after the fact when I looked at why I was still painting portraits, why that still had urgency for me. I began to realize that it has sustained me for so long because I have difficulty in recognizing faces."[22]

Although his later paintings differ in method from his earlier canvases, the preliminary process remains the same. To create his grid work copies of photos, Close puts a grid on the photo and on the canvas and copies cell by cell. Typically, each square within the grid is filled with roughly executed regions of color (usually consisting of painted rings on a contrasting background) which give the cell a perceived 'average' hue which makes sense from a distance. His first tools for this included an airbrush, rags, razor blade, and an eraser mounted on a power drill. His first picture with this method was Big Self Portrait, a black and white enlargement of his face to a 107.5 by 83.5 inches (273 cm × 212 cm) canvas, made in over four months in 1968, and acquired by the Walker Art Center in 1969. He made seven more black and white portraits during this period. He has been quoted as saying that he used such diluted paint in the airbrush that all eight of the paintings were made with a single tube of Mars Black acrylic.

His later work has branched into non-rectangular grids, topographic map style regions of similar colors, CMYK color grid work, and using larger grids to make the cell by cell nature of his work obvious even in small reproductions. The Big Self Portrait is so finely done that even a full page reproduction in an art book is still indistinguishable from a regular photograph.

"The Event"

On December 7, 1988, Close felt a strange pain in his chest. That day he was at a ceremony honoring local artists in New York City and was waiting to be called to the podium to present an award. Close delivered his speech and then made his way across the street to Beth Israel Medical Center where he suffered a seizure which left him paralyzed from the neck down. The cause was diagnosed as a spinal artery collapse.[23] He had also suffered from neuromuscular problems as a child.[24] Close called that day "The Event". For months, Close was in rehab strengthening his muscles with physical therapy; he soon had slight movement in his arms and could walk, yet only for a few steps. He has relied on a wheelchair ever since. Close spoke candidly about the effect disability had on his life and work in the book Chronicles of Courage: Very Special Artists written by Jean Kennedy Smith and George Plimpton and published by Random House.[25]

However, Close continued to paint with a brush strapped onto his wrist, creating large portraits in low-resolution grid squares created by an assistant. Viewed from afar, these squares appear as a single, unified image which attempt photo-reality, albeit in pixelated form. Although the paralysis restricted his ability to paint as meticulously as before, Close had, in a sense, placed artificial restrictions upon his hyperrealist approach well before the injury. That is, he adopted materials and techniques that did not lend themselves well to achieving a photorealistic effect. Small bits of irregular paper or inked fingerprints were used as media to achieve astoundingly realistic and interesting results. Close proved able to create his desired effects even with the most difficult of materials to control. Close has made a practice, over recent years, of representing artists who are similarly invested in portraiture, like Cecily Brown, Kiki Smith, Cindy Sherman, and Zhang Huan.[26]


Close has been a printmaker throughout his career, with most of his prints published by Pace Editions, New York.[7] He made his first serious foray into print making in 1972, when he moved himself and family to San Francisco to work on a mezzotint at Crown Point Press for a three-month residency. To accommodate him, Crown Point found the largest copper plate it could (36 inches wide) and purchased a new press, allowing Close to make a work that was 3 feet by 4 feet. In 1986 he went to Kyoto to work with Tadashi Toda, a highly respected woodblock printer.[27]

In 1995, curator Colin Westerbeck used a grant from the Lannan Foundation to bring Close together with Grant Romer, director of conservation at the George Eastman House.[15] Ever since, the artist has also continued to explore difficult photographic processes such as daguerreotype in collaboration with Jerry Spagnoli and sophisticated modular/cell-based forms such as tapestry. Close's photogravure portrait of artist Robert Rauschenberg, "Robert" (1998), appeared in a 2009 exhibition at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, New York, featuring prints from Universal Limited Art Editions.[28] In the daguerreotype photographs, the background defines the limit of the image plane as well as the outline of the subject, with the inky pitch-black setting off the light, reflective quality of the subject's face.[29]

In a 2014 interview with Terrie Sultan, Close said: "I've had two great collaborators in the God knows how many years I've been making prints. One was the late Joe Wilfer, who was called the 'prince of pulp' … and now I'm working with Don Farnsworth in Oakland at…Magnolia Editions: I do the watercolor prints with him, I do the tapestries with him. These are the most important collaborations of my life as an artist."[30]

Since 2012, Magnolia Editions has published an ongoing series of archival watercolor prints by Close which use the artist's grid format and the precision afforded by contemporary digital printers to layer water-based pigment on Hahnemuhle rag paper[31] such that the native behavior of watercolor is manifested in each print: "The edges of each pixel bleed with cyan, magenta, and yellow, creating a kind of three-dimensional fog effect behind the intended color swatches."[32] The watercolor prints are created using more than 10,000 of Close's hand-painted marks which were scanned into a computer and then digitally rearranged and layered by the artist using his signature grid.[33] These works have been called Close's first major foray into digital imagery:[34] according to Close, "It's amazing how precise a computer can be working with light and color and water."[35] A New York Times review notes that the "exaggerated breakdown of the image, particularly when viewed at close range," that characterizes Close's work "is also apparent in... [watercolor print] portraits of the artists Cecily Brown, Kiki Smith, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker and Zhang Huan."[36]


Close's wall-size tapestry portraits, in which each image is composed of thousands of combinations of woven colored thread, depict subjects including Kate Moss, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Lucas Samaras, Philip Glass, Lou Reed, Roy Lichtenstein, and Close himself.[36] They are produced in collaboration with Donald Farnsworth.[37] Although many are translated from black-and-white daguerreotypes, all of the tapestries use multiple colors of thread. No printing is involved in their creation; colors and values appear to the viewer based on combinations of more than 17,800 colored warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) threads, in an echo of Close's typical grid format.[38][39] Close's tapestry series began with a 2003 black-and-white portrait of Philip Glass. In August 2013 he debuted two color self-portraits at Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton, New York.[31] Reviewing this exhibition, Marion Weiss writes: "Close's Jacquard tapestries are not obviously fragmented, but are created by repeating multicolor warp and weft threads that are optically blended. Thus, portraits of Lou Reed and Roy Lichtenstein, for example, seem 'whole.' It's only when we get closer that we see the individual threads, which are woven together."[40]


In 2010, Close was commissioned by MTA Arts & Design to create twelve large mosaics, totaling more than 2,000 square feet (190 m2), for the 86th Street subway station on the New York City Subway's Second Avenue Line in Manhattan.[41][42][43][44]

Vanity Fair's 20th Annual Hollywood edition in March 2014 featured a portfolio of 20 Polaroid portraits of movie stars shot by Close, including Robert De Niro, Scarlett Johansson, Helen Mirren, Julia Roberts and Oprah Winfrey. Close requested that his subjects be ready to be photographed without makeup or hair-styling and used a large-format 20x24" Polaroid camera for the close-ups.[45]

A fragment of Close's portrait of singer-songwriter Paul Simon was used as the cover art for his 2016 album Stranger to Stranger. The right eye appears on the cover; the entire portrait is in the liner notes.

Close donated an original print of his "Self Portrait" in 2002 to the public library in Monroe, Washington, his hometown.[46]


Close's first solo exhibition, held in 1967 at the University of Massachusetts Art Gallery, Amherst, featured paintings, painted reliefs, and drawings based on photographs of record covers and magazine illustrations. The exhibition captured the attention of the university administration which promptly closed it, citing the male nudity as obscene. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) came to the defense of Close and a landmark court case ensued. A Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice decided in favor of the artist against the university. When the university appealed Close chose not to return to Boston, and ultimately the decision was overturned by an appeals court.[47] (Close was later awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the Arts by the University of Massachusetts in 1995.)[47]

Close credits the Walker Art Center and its then-director Martin Friedman for launching his career with the purchase of Big Self-Portrait (1967–1968)[48] in 1969, the first painting he sold[49] His first one-man show in New York was in 1970 at Bykert Gallery. His first print was the focus of a "Projects" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1972. In 1979 his work was included in the Whitney Biennial and the following year his portraits were the subject of an exhibition at the Walker Art Center. His work has since been the subject of more than 150 solo exhibitions including a number of major museum retrospectives.[10] After Close abruptly canceled a major show of his work scheduled for 1997 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,[50] the Museum of Modern Art announced that it would present a major midcareer retrospective of the artist's work in 1998 (curated by Kirk Varnedoe and later traveling to the Hayward Gallery, London, and other galleries in 1999).[51][52] In 2003 the Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston presented a survey of his prints, which travelled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the following year.[10] His most recent retrospective – "Chuck Close Paintings: 1968 / 2006", at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid in 2007 – travelled to the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst in Aachen, Germany, and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has also participated in almost 800 group exhibitions,[53] including documentas V (1972) and VI (1977), the Venice Biennale (1993, 1995, 2003), and the Carnegie International (1995).[29]

In 2013, Close's work was featured in an exhibit in White Cube Bermondsey, London. "Process and Collaboration" displayed not only a number of finished prints and paintings but included plates, woodblocks, and mylar stencils which were used to produce a number of prints.[54]

In December 2014 his work was exhibited in Australia at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, which he visited.[55]

In 2016, Close's work was the subject of a retrospective at the Schack Art Center in Everett, Washington, where he attended high school and community college.[56][57]


Close's work is in the collections of most of the great international museums of contemporary art, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis who published Chuck Close: Self-Portraits 1967–2005 coauthored with curators Siri Engberg and Madeleine Grynsztejn.[7][58]


The recipient of the National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton in 2000,[59] the New York State Governor's Art Award, and the Skowhegan Arts Medal, among many others, Close has received over 20 honorary degrees including one from Yale University, his alma mater.[53] In 1990, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician, and became a full Academician in 1992. New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed the artist to the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, a body mandated by the City Charter to advise the mayor and the cultural affairs commissioner.[60] Close painted President Clinton in 2006 and photographed President Barack Obama in 2012.[47] In 2010 he was appointed by Obama to the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.[10] He resigned from the President's Committee in August 2017, co-signing a letter of resignation that said in reference to President Donald Trump, "Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions."[61]

In 2005, composer Philip Glass wrote a musical portrait of Close. The composition, a 15-minute piece for solo piano, was the idea of Bruce Levingston, a concert pianist, who commissioned it through the Premiere Commission and who performed the piece at a recital at Alice Tully Hall that year.[62]

Art market

Close has been represented by the Pace Gallery (in New York City) since 1977, and by White Cube (in London) since 1999.[63] Already in 1999, Close's Cindy II (1988), a portrait of the photographer Cindy Sherman sold for $1.2 million, against a high estimate of $800,000.[64] In 2005, John (1971–72) was sold at Sotheby's to the Broad Art Foundation for $4.8 million.[65]

Personal life

Close lives and works in Bridgehampton, New York and Long Beach, NY (both on the south shore of Long Island)[9] and New York City's East Village.[66] He has two daughters with Leslie Rose.[67] They divorced in 2011. Close married artist Sienna Shields in 2013.[68] They later divorced.[69]

Sexual harassment allegations

On December 20, 2017, two women accused Close of sexual misconduct, claiming he made vulgar comments to them after inviting them to his studio to pose for him.[70] In response to the accusations, Close issued an apology to The New York Times, saying "If I embarrassed anyone or made them feel uncomfortable, I am truly sorry, I didn't mean to."[71] The National Gallery of Art cancelled a Chuck Close exhibition, planned to open May 2018, due to the allegations.[72]

Fundraising and community service

In 2007 Close was honored by the New York Stem Cell Foundation and donated artwork for an exclusive online auction.[73]

In September 2012 Magnolia Editions published two tapestry editions and three print editions by Close depicting President Barack Obama. The first tapestry was unveiled at the Mint Museum in North Carolina in honor of the Democratic National Convention. These tapestries and prints were sold as a fundraiser to support the Obama Victory Fund. A number of the works were signed by both Close and Obama. Close has previously sold work at auction to raise funds for the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Al Gore.[74][75]

In October 2013, Close donated a watercolor print of Genevieve Bahrenburg and a watercolor print self-portrait to ARTWALK NY, a cause that benefits the Coalition for the Homeless.[76] In the same year work by Close was also sold to benefit the Lunchbox Fund.[77]

Close was one of eight artists who volunteered in 2013 to participate in President Barack Obama's Turnaround Arts initiative, which aims to improve low-performing schools by increasing student "engagement" through the arts. Close mentored 34 students in the sixth through eighth grades at Roosevelt School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, one of eight schools in the nation to participate in this public-private partnership developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council. Close was honored by mayor Bill Finch with a key to the city at the November 7 reception at the Housatonic Community College Museum of Art, where five of Close's watercolor prints were exhibited alongside artwork by students participating in the program.[78]

In the media

In 1998, PBS broadcast documentary filmmaker Marion Cajori's Emmy-nominated short, "Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress."[79] In 2007, Cajori made "Chuck Close", a full-length expansion of the first film.[80] British art critic Christopher Finch wrote a biography, Chuck Close: Life, which was published in 2010, a sequel of sorts to Finch's 2007 book, Chuck Close: Work, a career-spanning monograph.[81]

Another documentary film was made on Close in 1998, titled Chuck Close: Eye To Eye: ART/new york No. 48, by his classmate at Yale University Paul Tschinkel.[82]

Close appeared on The Colbert Report on August 12, 2010, where he admitted he watches the show every night.

See also


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  3. ^ Hylton, Wil S. (July 13, 2016). "The Mysterious Metamorphosis of Chuck Close". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 13, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  4. ^ "Mosaic Art NOW: Prosopagnosia: Portraitist Chuck Close". Archived from the original on August 21, 2017. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  5. ^ "Chuck Close". Biography. Archived from the original on 23 March 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  6. ^ Bui, Phong (June 2008). "In Conversation: Chuck Close with Phong Bui". The Brooklyn Rail. Archived from the original on 2012-04-06.
  7. ^ a b c d Chuck Close Archived 2012-10-23 at the Wayback Machine. Crown Point Press, San Francisco.
  8. ^ "Chuck Close: Life".
  9. ^ a b c d Helen A. Harrison (February 22, 2004), Following the Light, and Making Faces Archived 2017-12-22 at the Wayback Machine. The New York Times.
  10. ^ a b c d Chuck Close Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
  11. ^ Newhall, Edith (April 15, 1991). "Close to the Edge". New York Magazine. pp. 40–41..
  12. ^ Edkins, Jenny (2015), Face Politics, Routledge, p. unnumbered, n. 130.
  13. ^ Chuck Close: Lucas I, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, archived from the original on July 24, 2017, retrieved May 7, 2017.
  14. ^ Chuck Close, October 29 – December 22, 2011 Archived January 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Blum & Poe, Los Angeles.
  15. ^ a b Lyle Rexer (March 12, 2000), Chuck Close Rediscovers the Art in an Old Method Archived 2016-03-07 at the Wayback Machine. The New York Times.
  16. ^ Chuck Close Archived 2012-08-05 at the Wayback Machine. Tate Modern, London.
  17. ^ Norman, M. Contemporary Art Legend Chuck Close Talks About Painting Archived 2010-06-04 at the Wayback Machine., The Plain Dealer, September 1, 2009
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  20. ^ Thompson, Graham: American Culture in the 1980s (Twentieth Century American Culture) Edinburgh University Press, 2007
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  23. ^ O'Hagan, Sean Head Master Archived 2016-12-04 at the Wayback Machine., The Observer, October 9, 2005
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  28. ^ Genocchio, B: Prints That Say Bold and Eclectic Archived 2017-10-10 at the Wayback Machine., The New York Times, March 4, 2009
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  70. ^ "Renowned Artist Chuck Close Under Fire for Alleged Sexual Misconduct [UPDATED]". Hyperallergic. December 20, 2017. Archived from the original on December 30, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  71. ^ "Chuck Close Apologizes After Accusations of Sexual Harassment". The New York Times. December 20, 2017. Archived from the original on December 28, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  72. ^ Colin Moynihan And Robin Pogrebin. "The National Gallery of Art Cancels a Chuck Close Show After Misconduct Accusations" Archived 2018-01-27 at the Wayback Machine., The New York Times, January 26, 2018. Retrieved on January 27, 2018.
  73. ^ "NYSCF Exclusive Online Art Auction Now Closed". Archived from the original on 2015-01-23.
  74. ^ "You Can Buy Chuck Close's Tapestry Portrait of Barack Obama for $100,000" Archived 2013-12-13 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2013-02-13.
  75. ^ "Chuck Close, President Obama, and an Art Sale" Archived 2013-12-12 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2013-02-13.
  76. ^ Bahrenburg, Genevieve. "Up Close and Personal: An Unexpected Sitting with Chuck Close". Vogue. Conde Nast. Archived from the original on 2014-01-09.
  77. ^ "Feedie Foodies: The Lunchbox Fund's 2013 Benefit". Vogue. Conde Nast. Archived from the original on 2013-10-22.
  78. ^ "Finch welcomes artist Chuck Close to Park City". The Bridgeport News. Archived from the original on 2013-11-10.
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  80. ^ Matt Zoller Seitz (December 26, 2007), Master Portraitist, Writ Large Himself Archived 2010-10-15 at the Wayback Machine. The New York Times.
  81. ^ Gottlieb, Benjamin (January 2011). "Art Books In Review: How We Talk About Chuck Close". The Brooklyn Rail. Archived from the original on 2012-04-30.
  82. ^ "Chuck Close: Eye To Eye: ART/new york No. 48". ART/new york. Retrieved 2018-12-20.


  • Bartman, William; Kesten, Joanne, eds. (1997). The Portraits Speak: Chuck Close in Conversation with 27 of his subjects. A.R.T. Press, New York. ISBN 0-923183-18-3.
  • Greenberg, Jan; Sandra Jordan (1998). Chuck Close Up Close. DK Publishing. ISBN 0-7894-2658-7.
  • Greenough, Sarah; Nelson, Andrea; Kennel, Sarah; Waggoner, Diane; Ureña, Leslie (2015). The Memory of Time: Contemporary Photographs at the National Gallery of Art. National Gallery of Art. ISBN 978-0500544495.
  • Wei, Lilly (essay) (2009). Chuck Close: Selected Paintings and Tapestries 2005–2009. PaceWildenstein. ISBN 978-1-930743-99-8.

External links

86th Street (Second Avenue Subway)

86th Street is a station on the first phase of the Second Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of Second Avenue and 86th Street on the Upper East Side, it opened on January 1, 2017. The station is served by the Q train at all times, limited rush hour N trains, and one A.M. rush hour R train in the northbound direction only. There are two tracks and an island platform.

The station was part of the original Second Avenue Subway as outlined in the Program for Action in 1968. Construction on that project started in 1972, but stalled in 1975 due to lack of funding. In 2007, a separate measure authorized a first phase of the Second Avenue Line to be built between 65th and 105th Streets, with stations at 72nd, 86th, and 96th Streets. The station opened on January 1, 2017, as an intermediate station along Phase 1. Since opening, the presence of the Second Avenue Subway's three Phase 1 stations has improved real estate prices along the corridor.

The station, along with the other Phase 1 stations along the Second Avenue Subway, contains features not found in most New York City Subway stations. It is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, containing two elevators for disabled access. Additionally, the station contains air conditioning and is waterproofed, a feature only found in newer stations. The artwork at 86th Street is Subway Portraits, a selection of twelve face portraits by painter Chuck Close.

Appropriation (art)

Appropriation in art is the use of pre-existing objects or images with little or no transformation applied to them. The use of appropriation has played a significant role in the history of the arts (literary, visual, musical and performing arts). In the visual arts, to appropriate means to properly adopt, borrow, recycle or sample aspects (or the entire form) of human-made visual culture. Notable in this respect are the Readymades of Marcel Duchamp.

Inherent in our understanding of appropriation is the concept that the new work recontextualizes whatever it borrows to create the new work. In most cases the original 'thing' remains accessible as the original, without change.

Crying Girl

Crying Girl is the name of two different works by Roy Lichtenstein: a 1963 offset lithograph on lightweight, off-white wove paper and a 1964 porcelain enamel on steel.


Graphicstudio is a university-based workshop engaged in a unique experiment in art and education, committed to research and the application of traditional and new techniques for the production of limited edition prints and sculpture multiples. Graphicstudio with the Contemporary Art Museum and the Public Art Program form the Institute for Research in Art in the College of The Arts at the University of South Florida. Graphicstudio, the experimental print workshop founded by Donald Saff on the University of South Florida Tampa campus, produced its earliest works in 1969. With the support of then president Cecil Mackey, Saff modelled Graphicstudio after the Pratt Graphics Center, Tamarind Press, and Gemini G.E.L. The first artist to participate at Graphicstudio was Philip Pearlstein. Alumni now include Richard Anuszkiewicz, Adja Yunkers, James Rosenquist, Robert Rauschenberg, Jim Dine, Edward Ruscha, Chuck Close, Robert Mapplethorpe, Miriam Schapiro, Roy Lichtenstein, Nancy Graves, Allan McCollum, and Vik Muniz.

Hyperrealism (visual arts)

Hyperrealism is a genre of painting and sculpture resembling a high-resolution photograph. Hyperrealism is considered an advancement of Photorealism by the methods used to create the resulting paintings or sculptures. The term is primarily applied to an independent art movement and art style in the United States and Europe that has developed since the early 1970s. Carole Feuerman is the forerunner in the hyperrealism movement along with Duane Hanson and John De Andrea.

Jerry Spagnoli

Jerry Spagnoli (New York, 1956), a photographer since the mid-1970s, is best known for his work with the daguerreotype process, a complex photographic technique invented in 1839 that produces images on highly polished, silver clad copper plates. Initiating his exploration of the daguerreotype in San Francisco in 1994, Spagnoli experimented with nineteenth-century materials and studied the effects achieved by early practitioners to understand the technical aspects of the process, as well as its expressive and visual potential as a medium. He began work on an ongoing series entitled “The Last Great Daguerreian Survey of the 20th Century” in 1995, continuing the series upon returning to the east coast in 1998. The project features views of the metropolis as well as images of historically significant events including the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11, the vigil following the disappearance of John F. Kennedy, Jr.., and Times Square at midnight on the eve of the new millennium. Considered the leading expert in the revitalization of the daguerreotype process, Spagnoli is also noted for his collaboration with artist Chuck Close on daguerreotype portraits and nudes.Spagnoli’s interest in the characteristic qualities of photographic processes extends to other aspects of his work. In his “Photomicrograph” series Spagnoli explores how people, photographed at great distances onto a small piece of film and enlarged many times, are readable as human forms from the most minimal information. In “Pantheon,” a recent series of color photographs, Spagnoli placed a radiating sun at the center of each image, the effect of which is enhanced by his use of a pinhole camera. Recently this project has morphed into “Local Stories.” Exchanging the pinhole for a super-wide-angle lens the project has taken on a more documentarian agenda while retaining the preoccupation with the sun as a central motif. Of his work, Spagnoli comments, “Ultimately my use of various materials and methods is centered in my desire to make complicated stories out of the everyday world, which is my apparent subject matter. Photography allows me to engage viewers with images and ideas which are filtered through the abstracting apparatus of the camera and woven into the matrix of its rich history.”

John Roy

John Roy (September 13, 1930 – June 13, 2001) was a noted professor in the Art Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst from 1964 until his retirement in 1994. He continued to paint until his death in 2001. His work included pointillism and photorealism and he created a remarkable and highly original body of work that represents an important contribution to the history of late twentieth-century American painting.

Roy was a contemporary and colleague of Chuck Close, and the two influenced each other's work considerably. Roy was the subject of one of Close's more noted paintings.

Klaus Kertess

Klaus Kertess (1940, New York City, New York – October 8, 2016, New York City, New York) was an American art gallerist, art critic and curator (including of the 1995 Whitney Biennial). He grew up in Westchester County north of New York City, the second off three children. He studied art history at Yale University and in 1966 founded the Bykert Gallery with his college roommate Jeff Byers. The gallery name was formed from a compound of both of theirs. At Bykert he showed a roster of artists which included; Brice Marden, David Novros, Barry Le Va, Alan Saret, Chuck Close, Bill Bollinger, Dorothea Rockburne, and many others.Later as an independent curator he oversaw the 1995 edition of the Whitney Biennial. Then in 1998 he curated the exhibition "DeKooning: Drawing/Seeing at the Drawing Center also in New York City.

Kertess suffered from Alzheimer's and died on October 8, 2016 after collapsing at his apartment. He was 76. He is survived by his longtime partner, the painter Billy Sullivan.

List of Chuck Close subjects

Chuck Close is an American painter and photographer who primarily creates massive-scale portraits. Close's portraits have simple titles, using only the subject's first name. Many of his subjects are friends who, like Close, are also artists, or dealers and collectors of art; others are simply friends or family members.

Lucas Samaras

Lucas Samaras (born September 14, 1936) is an artist who was born in Kastoria, Greece. He studied at Rutgers University on a scholarship, where he met Allan Kaprow and George Segal. He participated in Kaprow's "Happenings," and posed for Segal's plaster sculptures. Claes Oldenburg, in whose Happenings he also participated, later referred to Samaras as one of the "New Jersey school," which also included Kaprow, Segal, George Brecht, Robert Whitman, Robert Watts, Geoffrey Hendricks and Roy Lichtenstein. Samaras previously worked in painting, sculpture, and performance art, before beginning work in photography.

He subsequently constructed room environments that contained elements from his own personal history. His "Auto-Interviews" were a series of text works that were "self-investigatory" interviews. The primary subject of his photographic work is his own self-image, generally distorted and mutilated. He has worked with multi-media collages, and by manipulating the wet dyes in Polaroid photographic film to create what he calls "Photo-Transformations".

Lucas Samaras represented Greece at the 53rd International Art Exhibition, The Venice Biennale (June 7- November 22, 2009) with the multi-installation "PARAXENA" in the Greek Pavilion in the Giardini.Samaras has been the subject of several portraits by Chuck Close, in media including painting, daguerreotype, and tapestry.The Catalogue Raisonné of his works is being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute.

Lucas Samaras is represented by The Pace Gallery in New York and Stephen Friedman Gallery in London

Magnolia Editions

Magnolia Editions (aka Magnolia Tapestry Project and Magnolia Press) is a fine art studio in Oakland, California. Founded in 1981, Magnolia Editions publishes fine art projects, including unique and editioned works on paper, artist books, and public art. The studio includes facilities for etching/intaglio printing as well as digital printing onto substrates such as gessoed panel, glass, leather, plexiglass, aluminum, or raw linen. Several artists have worked at Magnolia to realize major commissions for the San Francisco International Airport and the Oakland International Airport. Other recent projects have incorporated a mix of traditional and digital techniques, such as a digital photogravure method in which a 'resist' is digitally printed on an etching plate, developed by Magnolia Editions director Donald Farnsworth, and projects which merge painting and printmaking by printing acrylic color over hand-painted, three-dimensional textures.Primarily a printmaking studio, since the 1990s Magnolia Editions has also gained a reputation for its tapestry editions. A set of proprietary color matching techniques developed by Farnsworth based on his years of printmaking experience are used to digitally direct electronic looms at a mill in Belgium, putting an industrial technology in the service of fine artists. Magnolia has published Jacquard tapestry editions by artists such as Chuck Close, Alex Katz, Masami Teraoka, Ed Moses, Leon Golub, Hung Liu, Enrique Chagoya, Bruce Conner, and Nancy Spero, among others. Each tapestry work typically contains 17,800 warp threads and 8 groups of repeating colors. Magnolia Editions tapestries have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the White Cube Gallery in London.

Neorealism (art)

In art, neorealism refers to a few movements.

Parrish Art Museum

The Parrish Art Museum is an art museum designed by Herzog & de Meuron Architects and located in Water Mill, New York, whereto it moved in 2012 from Southampton Village. The museum focuses extensively on work by artists from the artist colony of the South Shore (Long Island) and North Shore (Long Island).

The Parrish Art Museum was founded in 1897. It has grown into a major art museum with a permanent collection of more than 3,000 works of art from the nineteenth century to the present, including works by such contemporary painters and sculptors such as John Chamberlain, Chuck Close, Eric Fischl, April Gornik, Donald Sultan, Elizabeth Peyton, as well as by masters Dan Flavin, Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, and Willem de Kooning. The Parrish houses among the world’s most important collections of works by the preeminent American Impressionist William Merritt Chase and by the groundbreaking post-war American realist painter Fairfield Porter.

The museum's current director is Terrie Sultan, who has written several publications related to noted artists.


Photorealism is a genre of art that encompasses painting, drawing and other graphic media, in which an artist studies a photograph and then attempts to reproduce the image as realistically as possible in another medium. Although the term can be used broadly to describe artworks in many different media, it is also used to refer specifically to a group of paintings and painters of the American art movement that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s.


Pointillism () is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image.

Georges Seurat and Paul Signac developed the technique in 1886, branching from Impressionism. The term "Pointillism" was coined by art critics in the late 1880s to ridicule the works of these artists, and is now used without its earlier mocking connotation. The movement Seurat began with this technique is known as Neo-impressionism. The Divisionists, too, used a similar technique of patterns to form images, though with larger cube-like brushstrokes.

Richard Estes

For the wildebeest expert, see Richard Despard Estes.Richard Estes (born May 14, 1932 in Kewanee, Illinois) is an American artist, best known for his photorealist paintings. The paintings generally consist of reflective, clean, and inanimate city and geometric landscapes. He is regarded as one of the founders of the international photo-realist movement of the late 1960s, with such painters as John Baeder, Ralph Goings, Chuck Close, Audrey Flack, and Duane Hanson. Author Graham Thompson writes "One demonstration of the way photography became assimilated into the art world is the success of photorealist painting in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is also called super-realism or hyper-realism and painters like Richard Estes, Denis Peterson, Audrey Flack, and Chuck Close often worked from photographic stills to create paintings that appeared to be photographs."

The Portrait Now

The Portrait Now was a major international overview of contemporary portraiture held in 1993–1994 at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Among many others it included portraits by Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Tony Bevan, Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Peter Edwards, Stephen Finer, Lucian Freud, Richard Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, David Hockney, Panayiotis Kalorkoti, Jeff Koons, Leon Kossoff, Alice Neel, Nam June Paik, David Salle, Julian Schnabel and Andy Warhol.

A catalogue of the same name by Robin Gibson was published to coincide with the exhibition.

Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) is a prominent film festival held in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan, showcasing a diverse selection of independent films. Since its inaugural year in 2002, it has become a recognized outlet for independent filmmakers in all genres to release their work to a broad audience.

In 2006 and 2007, the Festival received over 8,600 film submissions and held 1,500 screenings. The Festival's program line-up includes a variety of independent films including documentaries, narrative features and shorts, as well as a program of family-friendly films. The Festival also features panel discussions with personalities in the entertainment world and a music lounge produced with ASCAP to showcase artists. One of the more distinctive components of the Festival is its Artists Awards program in which emerging and renowned artists celebrate filmmakers by providing original works of art that are given to the filmmakers' competition winners. Past artists of the Artists Award Program have included Chuck Close, Alex Katz, and Julian Schnabel.

The festival now draws an estimated three million people—including often-elusive celebrities from the worlds of art, film, and music—and generates $600 million annually.

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