Chuck Close - Untitled

Artist: Chuck Close
Title: Untitled
Nationality: American (1940-)
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: 25″ x 31″

Chuck Close – (1940-) an American painter, artist and photographer born in Monroe, Washington. Early childhood illnesses including a neuromuscular condition, nephritis and dyslexia were compounded later in life by a condition known as prosopagnosia (face blindness), which may have inspired him to do portraits. Most of his early, large-format portraits are based on photographs, using photorealism or hyperrealism, of family and friends, often other artists. Close often paints abstract portraits of himself and others, which hang in collections internationally. Even though a catastrophic spinal artery collapse in 1988 left him severely paralyzed, he has continued to paint inspired by artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. 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. Being much in the mainstream of pop art, 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. 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. We see a drawing in crayon example in his work Television, a small-format orange crayon on white background, making a social statement with understated simplicity. Being much in the mainstream of pop art, 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. Tavern is truly a rare find, an oil on canvas, c. 1960, in compelling blues and grays with a touch of gold and orange. This work reveals more imagery and detail the longer one enjoys it. Close’s work is in the collections of most of the great international museums of contemporary art, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and the Tate Modern in London. 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. In 2005, John (1971–72) was sold at Sotheby’s to the Broad Art Foundation for $4.8 million.

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