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Chuck Close

Recent Paintings

About Chuck Close

Chuck Close (b. 1940, Monroe, Washington) is renowned for his innovative conceptual portraiture. He began creating photorealist portraits from photographs in the late 1960s, using a grid to map each facial detail. In the late 1970s, he began shifting away from this approach, creating images with layers of autonomous shapes and colors that cohere into his subject’s face when viewed from a distance. Constantly revitalizing his practice, Close works across a variety of media, extending beyond painting to encompass printmaking, photography, collage, and tapestries based on Polaroids.

In 2000, Close was presented with the prestigious National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has served on the board of many arts organizations, and, in 2010, was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. In 2016, he created twelve large-scale mosaic portraits for New York’s 86th Street subway station at Second Avenue.

Pace has represented Chuck Close since 1977.

Press Release

  • Chuck Close: Recent Paintings
    Next week PaceWildenstein will present Chuck Close: Recent Paintings in its Chelsea gallery at 534 West 25th Street, New York. The exhibition will be on view from May 10 through June 18, 2005. The artist will be present at a public opening on Tuesday, May 10 from 6-8 p.m. Nine large-scale, oil-on-canvas paintings from 2002-2005 will be on exhibit, including portraits of the artists Lynda Benglis, Inka Essenhigh, and Andres Serrano; choreographer Merce Cunningham; Close’s family friend, Herb Kramer; and three self-portraits rendered in both black and white and color. A full-color catalogue with a text by Robert Rosenblum will accompany this exhibition. In his essay Facts and Fictions, Rosenblum discusses Close within the broader context of art history but concludes that, “Close, for all his ties to the past, has created a new human species, an almost science-fiction hybrid of our old-fashioned recognition of unique human physiognomies and our new languages of mechanical reproduction.” This summer Chuck Close: Self Portraits 1967–2005 opens at the Walker Art Center (July 24–October 16, 2005), and will travel to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, (November 19, 2005–February 21, 2006); High Museum of Art, Atlanta, (March 25–July 9, 2006); and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, (New York, July 22–October 22, 2006). Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration, which opened at the Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston, last year and traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Miami Art Museum, and the Knoxville Museum of Art continues its tour through 2007. The exhibition is currently on view at the Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC through August 7, 2005. Upcoming venues include Addison Art Gallery, Andover, MA and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX among others. Chuck Close (b. 1940, Monroe, WA) received his B.A. from the University of Washington, Seattle, before studying at Yale University School of Art and Architecture (B.F.A., 1963; M.F.A. 1964). Following graduation Close was awarded a Fulbright grant and studied at the Akademie der Bildenen Kunste, Vienna; he began working from photographs at this time. In 1967 Close moved to New York City where, one year later, he began black and white portrait painting. Soon thereafter his work was included in the “1969 Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting”—marking Close’s first inclusion in a museum exhibition—and in 1970 the artist received his first solo show. Nearly ten years later, during the late Seventies and early Eighties, Close began oil paintings and photography-based portrait series. Close’s drawings, paintings, photographs and prints have been the subject of exhibitions in more than 20 countries including four retrospective exhibitions: “Close Portraits” (1980-81) organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, with additional venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; “Chuck Close: Retrospektive” (1994) organized by the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, and later presented at the Lenbachhaus Städtische Galerie, Munich; “Chuck Close” (1998-99) organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, with subsequent venues at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Hayward Gallery, London Since 1969 Close has participated in over 400 group exhibitions of international scope, including Documenta, Kassel, Germany (1972, 1977), the Tokyo Biennale (1974), the Corcoran Gallery of Art Biennial (1975, 2001), the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial (1969, 1977, 1979, 1991), the Venice Biennale (1993, 1995, 2003), and the Carnegie International (1995-96). Close has taught at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), The School of Visual Arts (New York), the University of Washington (Seattle), New York University and Yale University (New Haven), and has been conferred with honorary degrees by The Art Institute of Boston, Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, NY), Colby College (Waterville, ME), University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Yale University (New Haven, CT), Rhode Island School of Design, University of Washington (Seattle), Purchase College at the State University of New York, Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore), the Corcoran School of Art (Washington, DC), Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson) and the New School University (New York). Honored by numerous cultural institutions throughout the United States, Close has been the recipient of many distinctions including: the International Center for Photography Annual Infinity Award for Art (1990), the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Medal (1991), the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Art (1991) and election as a member of the Academy the following year, the Academy of the Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts, Guild Hall of East Hampton, NY (1995), residency at the American Academy in Rome, Italy (1996), the New York State Governor’s Award (1997), election to Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1998), 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 (1999), the Independent Curators International Leo Award (2000), the National Medal of Arts presented by President William Jefferson Clinton (2000); and the Americans for the Arts Life Time Achievement Award (2004). In 2003, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed Close to The New York City Cultural Affairs Commission. The artist is the recent recipient of gold medals from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (2004), the American Academy in Rome (2004), and The National Arts Club (2005). Close’s work can be found in over 60 major public collections worldwide including: the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; The Cleveland Museum of Art; the Des Moines Art Center; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester; the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth, TX; the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum moderner Kunst, Palais Liechtenstein, Vienna; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC; the Osaka City Museum; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Seattle Art Museum; the Staatliche Museum, Berlin; the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, among others. Close currently lives and works in New York City and Long Island. Images are available upon request. For further information on Chuck Close: Recent Paintings, including images, please refer to or contact Jennifer Joy at



Robert Rosenblum

2005. PaceWildenstein. Paperback

40 pages: 50 color illustrations; 14 ¼ x 12 inches



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