Chuck Close
Keith, 1972
Mezzotint
51 x 41 1/2 inches

Chuck Close
Leslie, 1977
Pastel, graphite, and watercolor-washed paper
30 x 22 inches

Chuck Close
Self-Portrait (Maquette), 1993
Black and white Polaroid with ink and tape mounted to foamcore
12 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches

Chuck Close
Self-Portrait (Yellow Raincoat), 2013
Archival watercolor pigment print on Hahnemühle rag paper
75 x 60 inches

Chuck Close
Bob/maquette, 1999
Color Polaroid with ink, paint and tape mounted to foamcore
38 x 26 inches

Chuck Close
Brad, 2009
Jacquard tapestry
104 x 78 inches

Chuck Close
Self-Portrait Screenprint, 2012
Silkscreen in 246 colors
66 1/2 x 55 inches

 

Chuck Close
Cindy (smile), 2013
Archival watercolor pigment print on Hahnemühle rag paper
75 x 60 inches

 

Chuck Close
Elizabeth/maquette, 1988
Color Polaroid with ink and tape mounted to foamcore
36 1/8 x 25 7/8 inches

Chuck Close
Eric/maquette, 1990
Color Polaroid with ink, paint and tape mounted to foamcore
32 3/8 x 23 inches

Chuck Close
Self-Portrait/Pulp, 2001
Pigmented and pressed handmade paper pulp in eleven grays
57 1/2 x 40 inches

Chuck Close
Inka, 2012
Archival watercolor pigment print on Hahnemühle rag paper
75 x 60 inches

Chuck Close
Jack B, 1974
Ink and graphite on paper
29 3/4 x 22 1/2 inches

Chuck Close
Keith IV, 1981
Handmade paper
35 x 26 3/4 inches

Chuck Close
Lorna, 2006
Jacquard tapestry
103 x 79 inches

Chuck Close
Kerry P., 1974
Ink and grahpite on paper
30 x 22  inches

​Chuck Close
Self-Portrait Woodcut, 2009
Woodcut in 47 colors
35 1/2 x 28 1/2 inches

​Chuck Close
Nat/Felt Hand Stamp, 2012
Oil paint on paper
33 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches

 

​Chuck Close
Mark, 1973
Ink and graphite on paper
30 x 22 1/4 inches

​Chuck Close
Self Portrait / Spitbite / White on Black, 1997
Spit bite aquatint
20 1/2 x 15 3/4 inches

​Chuck Close
Self-Portrait (Pink T-Shirt), 2013
Archical watercolor pigment print on Hahnemühle rag paper
75 x 60 inches

​Chuck Close
Robert Manipulated, 1982
Handmade paper
35 x 26 3/4 inches

​Chuck Close​
Self-Portrait I / maquette, 2011
Color Polaroid with ink, red-colored dot adhesive and tape mounted to foamcore
35 1/2 x 25 1/4 inches

​Chuck Close
Self-Portrait II /maquette, 2011
Color Polaroid with ink and tape mounted to foamcore
38 7/8 x 26 3/8 inches

​Chuck Close
Self-Portrait III/maquette, 2011
Color Polaroid with ink, red-colored dot adhesive and tape mounted to foamcore
38 7/8 x 26 3/8 inches

​Chuck Close
Phyllis/maquette, 1981
Gelatin silver print with graphite and ink mounted to board
29 7/8 x 19 7/8 inches

​Chuck Close
Self-Portrait/maquette, 1977
Gelatin silver print with graphite, ink and tape mounted on foamcore
20 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches

​Chuck Close
Self-Portrait/maquette, 2008
Color Polaroid with ink, blue-colored dot adhesive, ink and tape mounted to foamcore
37 7/8 x 26 inches

​Chuck Close
Siena, 2012
Archival watercolor pigment print on Hahnemühle rag paper
75 x 60 inches

​Chuck Close
Self-Portrait/Scribble/Etching, 2001
Soft-ground etching from 12 color plates
18 1/4 x 15 1/4 inches

​Chuck Close
Study for "Keith"/4 Times, 1975
Four gelatin silver prints with ink, graphite and tape mounted to foamcore
Each paper: 20 1/4 x 16 inches

Press Release

John Berggruen Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of work by American artist Chuck Close.  Chuck Close: Important Works from the Past Forty Years marks the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, and the first since 1999, and will be on view September 5 through November 2, 2013.  John Berggruen Gallery will host an opening reception on Thursday, September 5th from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.

This exhibition focuses on several bodies of Close’s extensive oeuvre: rare drawings from the 1970s, important early prints, Polaroid maquettes, and two bodies of recent work, watercolor prints and felt hand stamps. Among the highlights of Chuck Close include an impression of Close’s first print of his career, Keith, which he produced at Crown Point Press, here in San Francisco, in 1972. Other highlights include three drawings from the 1970’s whose intimate scale demonstrate both Close’s technical mastery as well as express the conceptual foundations of his grid-based compositions. In a 1987 interview, Close revealed the systematic execution of his works to be “an invention of means. I invent thousands of little solutions to myriad problems every day, rather than the big solution, and, in that way, the whole problem eventually gets solved.”[i] Close’s relationship to photography and the historical innovation inherent in its usage is explored in Self-Portrait (Maquette) as the viewer witnesses the beginning of what will become a visual relationship between technology (the Polaroid) and painting. The watercolor prints and felt hand stamps each introduce a new technique; together, the two create a new conversation between the digital and the analogue, between the human and the mechanical. The watercolor prints mark the artist’s first in-depth experimentation with the possibilities of digital technology. Close uses approximately 14,500 of his own, hand-made watercolor marks, individually scanned in the computer, as the vocabulary for these works. Close organizes each image, and prints the works in watercolor on watercolor paper in layers of magenta, cyna, and yellow, never repeating a mark more than six times in each print.

Chuck Close (born 1940) began his career in 1968 with a black-and-white self-portrait painted from a photograph. This was the first note of the signature style which permeates his work. Since then Close has used a variety of media to create stark, hyperrealist portraits. They are closely cropped to eliminate body language and background, inviting the viewer’s attention. Close creates portraits by a process of transposing marks with a grid for reference. He explores a multitude of approaches to depicting his subjects, challenging himself by using materials and techniques that do not easily produce such realistic effects. Close immerses himself in the every aspect of his artistic process, from organization, to composition to execution. Each square is meticulously planned and every mark applied by Close. Close’s work investigates the history of the relationship between the roles of photographer and painter. Close begins every work using a photograph but defers to precise technique to execute his compositions. Among the media Close has investigated are etching, aquatint, lithography, ink and fingerprints, traditional Japanese woodcut and reduction linocut.

Chuck Close (b. 1940, Monroe, WA) received his M.F.A from Yale University and a B.A. from University of Washington in 1962. Close’s work can be found in over 65 major public collections worldwide, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; The Art Institute of Chicago; Australian National Gallery, Canberra; Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; The Cleveland Museum of Art; Des Moines Art Center; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester; Library of Congress, Washington, DC; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum moderner Kunst, Palais Liechtenstein, Vienna; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC; Osaka City Museum; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Seattle Art Museum; Staatliche Museum, Berlin; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, among others. Close lives and works in New York.

In 2000, Close was presented with the prestigious National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Close is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has served on the board of many arts organizations, and was recently appointed by President Obama to serve on The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

 

[i] The Pace Gallery 1987. Chuck Close: Drawings, Sculpture at Pace. [press release] June 19, 1987.

 

Press
Living Off the Grid: Chuck Close Faces the PastSeptember 11, 2013
Press
Chuck Close: 'Important Works on Paper' San Francisco ChronicleSeptember 5, 2013