Chuck Close

Mrz 7, 2013


Chuck Close’s touring exhibition currently makes a stop at Whie Cube gallery in London. Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration presents the artist’s graphic oeuvre.

Close made his first print in 1972 and, since then, has tirelessly explored the possibilities and limits of the print medium. Although Close is best known for his meticulous, large-scale paintings, his prints are equally time consuming and, unusually, they can often take longer to complete than a painting.

Close makes pictures of faces, often recycling images of his family and friends such as composer Philip Glass or artists Keith Hollingworth, Alex Katz and Lucas Samaras, as well as self-portraits. These images derive from an initial photograph where Close has placed the sitter very close to the camera lens in order to create a reduced depth of field. This focal variation, described by the artist as ‘a sharp focus data within a sandwich of blur’, makes the faces seem unfamiliar and impersonal, even though they are presented in extreme close-up. Each image is then built up through a series of incremental, abstract marks, irregular in length and density, applied in various ways such as a brushstroke, dot, dash, thumb print, threaded knot or particle of paper.

Close’s print-making methods are truly collaborative, involving a process of experimentation and ingenious problem-solving with expert printmakers around the world. Like a composition that can be rescored for different instruments, Close finds radically different solutions to the same image through a process of lengthy experimentation, embracing accidents and mistakes that can take the work in unexpected new directions.

Chuck Close

White Cube

March 6 – April 21, 2013
144 – 152 Bermondsey Street
London SE1 3TQ