Portraits: Chuck Close and His Friends at Pace Gallery

NEW YORK—Chuck Close has gathered his friends and fellow artists at Pace Gallery. His new exhibit includes portraits of Kara Walker, Lorna Simpson, Cindy Sherman, Paul Simon and many others, as well as several self-portraits. Among the works is a series of new watercolor prints and oil portraits seen for the first time.

Close’s portraits are based on photographs. Using a refined process he breaks the images down to a series of square areas and builds the portraits incrementally, square by square. In the hands of many other artists, tile portraits often appear hackneyed, but Close has revolutionized the method. Over the years, through experimentation, the acclaimed artist has revived and advanced traditional techniques and introduced new ones such as the method used for his felt hand-stamped prints.

Portrait of artist Kara Walker

His execution is flawless and the finished works are intriguing. Observing their detail up close and from a distance is necessary in order to understand and appreciate the way in which the individual elements come together to form the complete work.

The Close exhibit is on view at Pace Gallery on West 25th Street from Oct. 19 to Dec. 22, 2012.

Please Note: Post-Hurricane Sandy some galleries may be temporarily closed or have modified hours and exhibition dates. This location lost power and is waiting for it to be restored. Check with the gallery before visiting.

A complementary show of more modest-scaled portraits is on view at Pace Prints on 57th Street from Oct. 25 to Nov. 21, 2012. Composed of a painted dot matrix, the hand-stamped felt prints were created using a new process developed by Close.

All photos © Arts Observer

Post Your Thoughts