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Chuck Close Photo Maquettes

New York

April 16 – May 24, 2013

© 2013 Chuck Close, courtesy Pace Gallery
© 2013 Chuck Close, courtesy Pace Gallery
 Study for "Keith/Four times", 1975; four gelatin silver prints with ink, graphite, and tape mounted to foamcore; each image 19 7/8 x 15 5/8 inches, ,
Phyllis/maquette, 1981; gelatin silver print with graphite and ink mounted to board; image 20 x 16 inches, mounted 30 x 20 inches; signed, titled, and dated recto in pencil; "maquette for Phyllis, 1984, pulp paper collage on canvas 92 x 72" inscribed verso in pencil; unique © 2013 Chuck Close, courtesy Pace Gallery
© 2013 Chuck Close, courtesy Pace Gallery

That is the great thing about the maquettes. You see the decisions that I made, where those lines fall … And if someone were going to take a lot of time analyzing them I think they would find that there’s a method in the madness.  --Chuck Close, 2013

Spanning the artist’s career to date, Chuck Close Photo Maquettes was the first exhibition to focus solely on his maquettes and their relationship to his large-scale painted portraits. As curator Kristy Bryce noted “this show allowed a deeper understanding of the technical process behind Close’s work while also opening an important line of enquiry into the relationship between the distinct practices of painting and photography.”

The photographs are overlaid with a grid and translated, cell by cell, into the final painted portrait by hand. This painstaking process emphasizes the distinctly analogue nature of the finished product and focuses attention on the complex relationship between photography and painting, between the mechanical and the hand-made.

Chuck Close Photo Maquettes included images of many close friends and fellow artists, including the composer Philip Glass, artist Elizabeth Murray, and the art collector and philanthropist Agnes Gund. Self-portraiture has always been an important area of exploration in Close’s work, and this exhibition brought together eleven self-portraits from as early as 1975 to more recent examples from 2011.

A fully-illustrated catalogue was published to accompany the exhibition, with a new essay by art historian and artist Jonathan Weinberg. It is available to purchase through this website.

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