Chuck Close has concentrated his artistic practice on painting and portraiture since the 1960s and is one of the most celebrated artists working today. After earning his BFA and MFA from Yale University, Close gained critical notoriety for his photorealist epic-scale portraits of family and friends. Surprisingly, Close suffers from prosopagnosia, also known as “face blindness,” in which he is unable to recognize faces. 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.” While Close has continued to paint the same subject matter throughout his career, his style changed drastically in the late 1980s when he suffered a seizure, which left him paralyzed from the neck down.
No longer able to paint with the same neo-realist precision that had previously defined his career, Close invented a new technique by which to paint, as well as a new painterly language by which to express himself. Although Close has employed various painterly styles throughout his career, including an intense neo-realism in the 1970s and a subtle, pixelated pointillism in the 1980s, he is perhaps best known for his more recent works which are composed of diagonal grids and off-set by loosely rendered alternating shapes and meticulously paired color schemas, circles against squares, warm tones against cool and so on.
Chuck Close was born in 1940 in Monroe, Washington and lives and works in New York City and Long Island. His work has been the subject of several touring retrospectives, which included institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1980-1981); ‘Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration’ the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2004); ‘Chuck Close: Self Portraits 1967-2005’ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2005) and travelled to SF MOMA (2006), High Museum, Atlanta (2006) and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY (2006); ‘Chuck Close: Seven Portraits Group’, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (2008). Important group exhibitions have included; Documenta V and VI (1972 and 1977), The Whitney Biennial (1969, 1972, 1977, 1979, 1991), the Venice Biennale (1993, 1995, 2003) and the Carnegie International (1995-1996).
Chuck Close: Nudes 1967-2014, Pace Gallery, New York, New York - SOLO
Chuck Close: Works on Paper, Oklahoma City Museum of Art - SOLO
Chuck Close: Important Works on Paper from the Past Forty Years, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA - SOLO
Chuck Close, Galerie Thomas Modern, Munich, Germany - SOLO
Chuck Close: New Works, Adamson Gallery, Washington DC - SOLO
Chuck Close: Photographs, Prints and Tapestries, A Selection 1978-2010, Galerie de Bellefeuille, Montreal, Canada - SOLO
Chuck Close: People Who Matter to Me, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA - SOLO
Chuck Close, Pace Prints, New York, NY - SOLO