London – Chuck Close: “Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration” at White Cube Bermondsey, through April 21st 2013

April 20th, 2013

Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White CubePreview
Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube

As part of a global tour featuring Chuck Close’s graphic works, curated by the Parrish Art Museum, USA, are currently on view at the White Cube Bermondsey South Galleries in London. Featuring a particular focus on Close’s prints, the exhibition brings a series of meticulously time-consuming works by the artist to light that stand strongly alongside his better-known, large-scale paintings.

Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube 2
Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube

Born in 1940 in Monroe, Washington, Chuck Close lives and works in New York City and Long Island, NY. His works have been included in numerous retrospective exhibitions, traveling shows, group and solo exhibitions, as well as in the permanent collections of most of the great internationally celebrated museums. Originally making his mark as a photorealist, Close was severely paralyzed in 1988 and has created some of his best-known work since the trauma, continuing with the same process he used before, placing a grid on top of the photographs he takes, and meticulously filling in each cell.

Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube 2
Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube

Close is widely known for his portraits of family and friends, as well as his self-portraits. Beginning with a close-up photograph, allowed minimal depth-of-field, he rebuilds the image through complex layers of marks, whether it be brushstrokes, dots, dashes, thumbprints, needle and thread, or pieces of paper. The result is an image that plays at the notion of photographic reproducibility, moving between photorealistic portrait at a distance, and almost pure abstraction when viewed in close proximity. The artist, who suffers from Prosopagnosia, or “face blindness,” has extreme difficulty in recognizing or remembering faces, and has stated that his interest in faces was not a conscious reaction to his condition, but rather a parallel that he did not connect until he had worked at this technique for many years.

Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube
Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube

Close’s prints are particularly experimental, requiring collaboration with expert printmakers from around the world. Given his focus and attention to detail and process the works require a long period of creation, which is expressed through many of the works on view.  The exhibition displays proofs Close made throughout different stages of the printing processes. This helps the viewer see the incredible amount of work behind each finished product, as well as the background behind how the artist achieved the result – so that Close’s only secret is his unwavering discipline and work ethic. Including more than 150 works, the exhibition gives an overview of Close’s career, additionally citing his copper-plate engravings, woodcuts, reduction linocuts, acquatints, etchings, mezzotints, pulp paper works, and tapestries.

Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube
Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube

Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration will remain open at the gallery’s 144-152 Bermondsey Street White Cube location in London through April 21, 2013.

Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube
Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube

Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube 2
Chuck Close, Prints: Process and Collaboration (Installation View), via White Cube

—E. Baker

Related Links:

Exhibition Page [White Cube]