Chuck Close

  • WORKS
  • BIOGRAPHY
  • EXHIBITIONS
 

He studied at the University of Washington School of Art (B.A., 1962) and at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture (B.F.A., 1963; M.F.A., 1964). In 1964, he won a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Vienna at the Academy of Fine Arts. While teaching at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1965–67), he gradually rejected the elements of abstract expressionism that had initially characterized his work.

Close’s first solo exhibition included a series of enormous black-and-white portraits that he had painstakingly transformed from small photographs to colossal paintings. He reproduced and magnified both the mechanical shortcomings of the photograph—blurriness and distortion—and the flaws of the human face: bloodshot eyes, broken capillaries, and enlarged pores.

Photorealism developed as a reaction to the detachment of Minimalism and conceptual art, which did not depict representational images. Big Self-Portrait, in black and white, was the first of Close’smural-sized works painted from photographs. This painting took four months to complete. To make this work, Close took several photographs of himself in which his head and neck filled the frame. From these he selected one of the images and made two 11 x 14-inch enlargements. On one of the photographs he drew a grid, then lettered and numbered each square. Using both the gridded and un-gridded photographs, he carefully transferred the photographic image square by square onto a large canvas measuring 107 1/2 x 83 1/2 inches. He used acrylic paint and an airbrush to include every detail.

Throughout his career, the artist continued to concentrate on portraits—from the neck up—based on photographs he had taken. In addition to self-portraits, the images were usually of friends – many of whom were prominent in the art world. These images represent a very human, flawed view of the subjects, given the scale of attention granted to imperfections, while also presenting a rather grand, iconic view of the sitters, given the monumental and confrontational quality of the works. During the 1970s and ’80s, Close began to use color, experimenting with a variety of media and techniques. One technique involved simulating the process of printing: he used only cyan, magenta, and yellow, applying one layer of color at a time to the canvas. For his “Fingerprint Series,” Close developed one of his most innovative techniques. Inking his thumb and forefinger, the artist would press the medium into the canvas in order to achieve a subtle range of greys. Viewed up close, the spiraling patterns of his fingerprints can easily be seen. However, from a distance, the method is unidentifiable, creating the illusion of a polished, unified whole.

2017 Photographs, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA Selections from the Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, Pendleton Center for the Arts, Pendleton, OR

2016 Chuck Close Photographs, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA Chuck Close Photographs, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, FL Fingerprint Paintings and Drawings, 1978–86, Craig F. Starr Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close Prints, Schack Art Center, Everett, WA

2015 Chuck Close, Merchant House, Amsterdam, Netherlands Chuck Close: Recent Work, Pace Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close Prints, Schack Art Center, Everett, WA Chuck Close: Face Forward, From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation, Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, OR Chuck Close Photographs, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY

2014 Chuck Close, Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta, GA Chuck Close: Nudes 1967–2014, Pace Gallery, 534 West 25th Street, NY

2013 Chuck Close: Radical Innovator, Contessa Gallery, Cleveland, OH Chuck Close and His Turnaround Kids, Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT Chuck Close: About Face, Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT Closer: The Graphic Art of Chuck Close, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT Chuck Close: Tapestries, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR Chuck Close: Important Works on Paper from the Past Forty Years, John Bergruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA Chuck Close, Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY Chuck Close: Photo Maquettes, Eykyn Maclean, New York, NY

2012 Chuck Close, Galerie Thomas Modern, Munich, Germany Chuck Close: New Works, Adamson Gallery, Washington, D.C. Chuck Close: Works on Paper 1975–2012, Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA Chuck Close, Pace Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close, Pace Prints, New York, NY Chuck Close and Crown Point Press: Prints and Processes, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA

2011 Chuck Close: Photographs, Prints and Tapestries, A Selection 1978-2010, Galerie de Bellefeuille, Montreal, Canada Chuck Close: New Paintings, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA Chuck Close: Self-Portraits in Edition, Steven Vail Fine Arts Project Room, Des Moines, IA

2010 Look Close: Works on Paper by Chuck Close, Louis K. Meisel, New York, NY Chuck Close, Pace Prints, New York, NY Chuck Close: People Who Matter to Me, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA Chuck Close: Drawings of the 1970s, Craig F. Starr Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close: Polaroids, Xippas Gallery, Athens, Greece Chuck Close: Polaroids, Galerie Xippas, Paris, France Chuck Close: Portraits, Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art, California State University, San Bernardino, CA 

2009 Chuck Close: The Keith Series, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, SC Chuck Close: Selected Paintings and Tapestries 2005–2009, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY Chuck Close: Maquettes and Multi-Part Work (1966–2009), Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close: Recent Works, Contessa Gallery, Cleveland, OH Familiar Faces: Chuck Close in Ohio Collections, Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH Faces: Chuck Close and Contemporary Portraiture, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV

2008                  Chuck Close,Philip Glass,40 Years, Arnold & Marie Schwartz Gallery Met, Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY Chuck Close: 10 Years in Print, William Shearburn Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri, MO Chuck Close: Recent Work, William Shearburn Gallery, Santa Fe, NM Chuck Close: Grids, Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Inc., Moscow, Russia Chuck Close, Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2007                   Chuck Close: Self-Portrait/Scribble/Etching Portfolio, 2000, Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, NY; traveled to Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, MA; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME Chuck Close: Family and Others, White Cube, London, UK; traveled as: Chuck Close: Seven Portraits, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia Chuck Close: Pinturas 1968–2006, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; traveled to Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany Chuck Close, Galerie Xippas, Paris, France Chuck Close: Self-Portrait ,2007, Pace Prints, New York, NY Chuck Close: Janet/Pulp, 2007 Print & Process, Pace Prints, New York, NY   2006                  Chuck Close: From the Collection of Sherry Mallin, Nassau County Museum, Roslyn Harbor, New York, NY Chuck Close: A Couple of Ways of Doing Something, Aperture Gallery, New York, NY; traveled to Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; Austin Museum of Art, Austin, Texas; Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR; Tarble Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL Chuck Close, Xippas Gallery, Athens, Greece Chuck Close, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, NY

2005                  Chuck Close: Self Portraits 1967–2005, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; traveled to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY Chuck Close: Face to Face, Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, NC Chuck Close: Recent Paintings, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY

2004                  Chuck Close: Drawings, Photographs, Prints, Craig F. Starr Associates, New York, NY Chuck Close: Prints and Process, Van Every/Smith Galleries, Davidson College, NC

2003                  Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration, Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Houston, TX; traveled to Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Miami Art Museum, Miami, Florida; Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC; Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX; Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; Sungkok Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea; Frist Center for Visual Arts, Nashville, TN; San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Chuck Close: Recent Works, White Cube, London, UK Chuck Close, Clark Fine Art, Southampton, NY Daguerreotype to Digital, Texas Gallery, Houston, TX   2002                  Chuck Close: Daguerrotypes, Pace/McGill, New York, NY Chuck Close: New Paintings, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY Chuck Close, Pace/Prints, New York, NY Chuck Close Ritratti, American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy Chuck Close: New Editions, Pace/Prints, New York, NY Chuck Close Prints, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York, Purchase, NY

2001                  Chuck Close: Self Portraits 1967–2001, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CA   2000                  Chuck Close, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA Chuck Close: The Photographic Works, The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH Chuck Close: Recent Paintings, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY Chuck Close: Portraits and Nudes, PaceWildensteinMacGill, New York, NY Chuck Close: Paintings of Agnes/Prints and Drawings, Harwood Museum of Art, University of New Mexico, Taos, NY Chuck Close-“Daguerreotypien Und Iris Drucke”, Galerie Daniel Blau, Munich, Germany Chuck Close: Self-Portraits, Adamson Gallery, Washington, D. C. Chuck Close: Recent Prints, Pace Prints, New York, NY

1999                  Photographs by Chuck Close, White Cube, London, UK

1998                  Chuck Close, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; traveled to Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; Hayward Gallery, London, UK Chuck Close: Translations, Akus Gallery, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT Self-Portraits, The Martin Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, MN Chuck Close: Prints 1978–1997, Georg Kargl Gallery, Vienna, Austria Chuck Close: Edition Works, The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH Chuck Close: Prints, Virginia Lynch Gallery, Tiverton, RI Focus: Chuck Close Editioned Works, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

1997                                    Chuck Close, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle,WA Chuck Close ‘Großformatige Polaroids‘: Large Polaroids 1984–1995, Galerie Daniel Blau, Munich, Germany Chuck Close: Large-Scale Photographs, Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin, Germany

1996                  Chuck Close: A Personal Portrait, Works and Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, New York, NY Chuck Close: Large Scale Black and White Photographs, PaceWildensteinMacGill, New York, NY; traveled to PaceWildenstein, Los Angeles, CA

1995                  Chuck Close: Recent Paintings, PaceWildenstein Los Angeles, CA; traveled to PaceWildenstein, New York, NY Chuck Close: Alex/Reduction Block, Lannan Foundation, Los Angeles, CA Chuck Close: The Graphics, Dean Jensen Gallery, Milwaukee, WI Chuck Close Recent Editions: Alex—Chuck—Lucas, Pace Editions, New York, NY Chuck Close, University Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

1994 Chuck Close: Retrospektive, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany; traveled to Lenbachhaus Kunstbau, Munich, Germany Chuck Close: 8 peintures récentes, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, France Chuck Close: Visible and Invisible Portraits, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan   1993                  Chuck Close Editions, Pace Editions, New York, NY Chuck Close: Portraits, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA A Print Project by Chuck Close, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY Chuck Close: Recent Paintings, The Pace Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close: Lucas Rug, A/D Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close: Black and White Portraits, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, NY

1991                  Chuck Close: Up Close, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY Chuck Close: Large Color Polaroid Photographs, William Twigg-Smith Gallery, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI Chuck Close: Recent Paintings, The Pace Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close, Art Institute of Boston, Lesley University, Boston, MA Chuck Close: Editions, University Art Museum, University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, LA

1989                  Chuck Close: Works on Paper from the Collection of Sherry Hope Mallin, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT Chuck Close, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; traveled to The Friends of Photography, Ansel Adams Center, San Francisco, CA Chuck Close Editions: A Catalogue Raisonné and Exhibition, The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH

1988                  Chuck Close: A Survey, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close: New Paintings, The Pace Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close: Prints and Photographs, Pace Editions, New York, NY Chuck Close: Photographs, Fendrick Gallery, Washington, D.C. Works of Paper by Chuck Close, Tomasulo Art Gallery, Union City College, Cranford, NJ

1987                  Chuck Close: Photographs, The Pace Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close Drawings, 1974–1986, The Pace Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close: Large Scale Self-Portraits, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, NY

1986                  Chuck Close: Maquettes, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close: New Editions, Pace Editions, New York, NY Chuck Close: Recent Work, The Pace Gallery, New York, NY

1985                  Chuck Close: Photographs, Pace/ MacGill Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close: Works on Paper, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX Chuck Close, Fuji Television Gallery, Tokyo, Japan Chuck Close: Large Scale Photographs, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1984                  Chuck Close: An Exhibition of Handmade Paper Works, Herbert Palmer Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; traveled to Spokane Center of Art, Cheney, WA; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI; Columbia Museum, Columbia, SC

1983                  Chuck Close: Recent Work, The Pace Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close: Recent Editions, Pace Editions, New York, NY

1982                  Chuck Close: Paperworks, Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, IL; traveled to John Stoller Gallery, Minneapolis, MN; Jacksonville Art Museum, Jacksonville, FL; Greenberg Gallery, St. Louis, MI                  Chuck Close. Matrix/Berkeley 50, University Art Museum, Berkeley, CA Chuck Close: Photographs, California Museum of Photography, University of California, Riverside, California, June–July 1982.

1981                  Etchings, Lithographs and Handmade Paper, Pace Editions, New York, NY   1980                  Close Portraits, The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; traveled to St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MI; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY   1979                  Chuck Close, Kunstraum München, Munich, Germany Chuck Close: Recent Work, The Pace Gallery, New York, NY

1977                  Chuck Close/Matrix 35, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT Chuck Close: Recent Work, The Pace Gallery, New York, NY

1976                  Chuck Close, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD

1975                  Chuck Close: Dot Drawings 1973–75, Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, TX; traveled to Texas Gallery, Houston, TX; Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH Chuck Close: Keith, Organized by Parasol Press, Ltd., New York; traveled to Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC; Ball State University Art Gallery, Muncie, IN; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ; The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MI Chuck Close, Bykert Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close: Drawings and Paintings, The Portland Center for the Visual Arts, Portland, OR   1973                  Chuck Close, Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH Chuck Close: Recent Works, Bykert Gallery, New York, NY   1972                  Chuck Close, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL   1971                  Chuck Close: Recent Work, Bykert Gallery, New York, NY Chuck Close: Recent Work, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

1970                  Chuck Close, Bykert Gallery, New York, NY

1967                  Charles Close, University of Massachusetts Art Gallery, Amherst, MA