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Portrait Artist - 50 Years Experimentation In Technique, Gradually Led To The Next Step

Here Is That, Which You Will Find, ON THIS PAGE, or section:

  1. Get The Address Of Chuck Close

  2. Chuck Close Makes Me Appreciate Rembrandt For The First Time

  3. I View Chuck Close As A Painstaker

  4. Chuck's Genre/s

  5. Bio

  6. Notable Early Exhibitions

  7. Woe To Chuck

  8. Celebrated Celebrity

  9. List: Some Oil Portraits By Chuck Close

  10. See Some Of Chuck's Art Online

  11. Buy Art By Chuck Close


Click For Hand Crafted Oil Canvases








Review by Jack Stand, Critic:



Chuck Close is known as a painter and a photographer. He has been a pioneer of the hyper-realist (super-realist) gender of art.

Chuck does nothin but facial portraits, and every one is from a photo, which he copies exactly, though he creates his own version of pixels, which are not in the original photo. That is where the creativity comes in.

Chuck's hand painted work differs from your typical oil painting reproduction of a photo, in that he exercises a lot of expansive experimentation within the context of each pixel, whereas the typical portrait-from-photo uses no pixels atall.

Chuck is also known for painting big paintings.

When I see how crude is Chuck's work, and I compare it to the fine art of Rembrandt, I suddenly appreciate Rembrand'ts work, though I never did before, (because of the so darkness of it, and, in many cases, the vagueness of the backgrounds).

It is apparent from his self-portraits that, despite Chuck's Anglo-Saxon surname, he is of Esau.



To me, Chuck Close is such a painstakin experimenter, that he takes 48 years to do the type of sketch-explorations, that most students do in only 2 years. Thus I view most of his works as sketches, as experiments, not as finished products.

For most of his life's time, he was experimentin with the technique per se, and becomin a master thereof.

Later, he began to experiment with the expressionist angle, and the ways, in which he could deviate from, bein a precise copyist, to creatin a work of art. Still, after 48 years of legal adulthood, I think he is at the stage of finishin his "2 years of sketchin".

It is just that he is SO painstakin, and so precise, that his "2 years" have taken him 48 years, more or less.



Chuck spent his schoolin years as an abstract artist.

Super-realism or hyper-realism -- Painters, the like of Chuck Close and Denis Peterson, oft used photographic still pictures, to make paintings, that looked to be photographs.

Portraiture - includin portrait painting, photography, and a number of other med-eye-ae, told of below, under "Media". It has been claimed that Contemporary Art has been generally neglectful of portraiture, thus renderin Chuck more outstandin, than he would have been, had he chosen to be a Renaissance Master.



Chuck Thomas Close is his name. The surname "Close" is of medieval English origin, denotin someone who abode in an enclosed area, either in city or in farm.

'Twas in Monroe, in the was-to-have-been-sovereign state of Washington, that his mother bore him, in the year of our Lo'ward 1940. The 5th of July 5 'twas.

It was the year of our Lo'ward 1962, when Chuck was graduated from a school, known as the "University of Washington". That particular school happened to be situate in the town of Seattle.

Next was he graduated from the Yale University School of Art and Architecture. The year was 1964. While he was there, other future celebrities, of art, were studyin there: Brice Marden, Richard Serra, Nancy Graves, and Robert Mangold. The folks, at Yale, gave to him an MFA degree.

Chuck afterward managed to obtain a Fulbright grant. I checked about this institution, the Fulbright program, and found that it is funded by the U.S.A. federal government, plus a plethora of other governments, educational institutions, and private money.

All of the famous names, that I recognized, who have been given the Fulbright prize, are known satanists. The one famous name, that I recognized amon the Fulbright alumni, was tagged as a communist by his top aide. The fact, that the Fulbright organization gave recognition to Chuck, thus speaks against him.

Whatever Chuck did, to attract the approval of the Fulbright program, certainly would attract also the ire of God.

Chuck used his Fulbright money to support himself in Europe for a while.

Chuck finished spendin his Fulbright money in Europe, then he went back to the United States of America. He took a job teachin at the University of Massachusetts.

Chuck moved to New York City in, or before, 1967, and switched from abstract work, to portraits, using photographs as models.

Here is what Chuck said about his work with painting from photographs:

"I wanted something very specific to do, where there were rights and wrongs," he has remarked, "and so I decided to just use whatever happened in the photograph. Whatever shapes were there I would have to use . . . I was constructing a series of self-imposed limitations that would guarantee that I could no longer make what I had been making."

There was one painting, that chuck made, which betokened a big change in his career. The painting he did in the year of our Lo'ward 1968, and its name is Big Self-Portrait. It was his first self-portrait, one of many, for which he has become well known.

Big Self-Portrait was the first one of 8 paintings done in a similar vein. All were black and white. Chuck calls them "heads". The other 7 included portraits of 3 artists, Joe Zucker, Richard Serra, and Nancy Graves. Another, of them, was of a composer, by the name of Philip Glass.

Chuck was celebrated for havin done the 8 paintings. The set was the first instance of the same method, whereto he has stuck, clear unto the year of our Lo'ward 2009.

In 2009, Chuck has abidden in Bridgehampton , New York . Chuck has done his painting there also.



In 1979 Chuck's paintings were shown in the Whitney Biennial.

In 1970 Chuck did his first one-man show.

Chuck's paintings were first shown, in the New York Museum of Modern Art, early in the year of our Lo'ward, 1973.

Chuck was one of the leaders, in bringin photography into into the world of art. In the late 1960's and early 1970's, he, and other photorealist painters, were well celebrated.



Chuck became paralyzed in 1988. The description is a spinal artery collapsin. December 7, 1988, Chuck was scheduled to give an award for art, in New York. His chest strangely hurt. He begged the runners of the event to let him to be on the stage. He went up, and read his speech in haste. Next he ran to a hospital.

Some hours afterward, Chuck was paralyzed from the neck down. Woe is unto Chuck. Members of the A.M.A. recovered from their confusion after a while, enough to give a diagnosis. The condition is a rare one. But, then, Chuck is a rare celebrity. In Chuck's own way of speakin, it was "The Event".

Chuck worked, in a rehabilitation spot, to make again his muscles to be stron. He got to where he could move his arms a bit, and could walk a few steps. Since then he has made use of a wheelchair. Afterward, Chuck went back to paintin.

Chuck has kept on findin newer and newer ways to make portraits. For so doin, he has been given a good deal of attention.



Celebrated as one of the most influential figurative painters of our time -- celebrated celebrity

1990 -- International Center for Photography Annual Infinity Award for Art

1991 -- the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Medal

1991 -- the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Art

1992 -- election as a member of the Academy

1995 -- the Academy of the Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts, Guild Hall of East Hampton, NY

1996 -- residency at The American Academy in Rome, Italy

1997 -- the New York State Governor's Award ,

1998 -- election to Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences

1999 -- the Artist Advocate Award from the Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations

1999 -- the title of “Culture Laureate” by the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center

2000 -- the Independent Curators International Leo Award

2000 -- the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton

2004 Americans for the Arts Life Time Achievement Award, New York

2004 -- Gold medal from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

2004 -- Gold medal from the American Academy in Rome.

2005 -- The National Arts Club gold medal.

2008 -- 2nd prize at the World Press Photo contest.

2009 -- Close was honored with the Christopher Reeve Spirit of Courage Award from The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

2003 -- Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed him to The New York City Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission.

From 2000 to 2008 -- Chuck was a board member of the Whitney Museum of American Art.


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;

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven




2009—PaceWildenstein, which has represented Chuck Close for more than thirty years

Bill Clinton , 2006, Oil on canvas, 108 1/2 x 84 in


Maggie , 1996, Oil on canvas, 30 x 24"

two portraits of artist Zhang Huan , one rendered in black and white and the other in color.

artist James Siena

Close's daughters Georgia and Maggie , who have been portrayed by the artist in various media since 1984

self-portraits. Comprising nearly 100 works, -- painting, drawing, photography, collage, and printmaking

black-and-white Big Self-Portrait (1967-1968) -- the artist's first -- which the Walker purchased out of his studio in 1969, and which was the first of Close's paintings to enter a museum collection

SFMOMA's Self-Portrait (2000-2001), a contemporary image painted as a mosaic of dazzling color, and the only other self-portrait painted at the scale of the 1968 canvas

Lucas (1986 - 1987), Chuck Close . Oil and pencil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art , New York, New York .

Emma , Woodcut, 2002 Chuck Close

As early as 1991, Chuck also began to weave portraits

1991 portrait of one of his favorite subjects, the composer Philip Glass, in China.

In 2004, thirteen years later, the artist returned to the medium, this time working with a Jacquard loom in Belgium. These Jacquard tapestries, woven between 2004 and 2009 , originate from recent daguerreotype or Polaroid portraits of

Ellen Gallagher,

Philip Glass,

Lyle Ashton Harris,

Brad Pitt,

Andres Serrano,

Cindy Sherman,

Lorna Simpson

two self-portraits;

one is a 15' horizontal work featuring five consecutive views of Close, offering a near panoramic, new viewpoint of the artist's frequently rendered visage.


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