This is the first exhibition of Chuck Close’s large-scale photographs on the West Coast. Both technically and aesthetically, Close is pushing previously conceived “limits” of the photographic medium to their extremes. The exhibition will consist of only four photographs, each one commanding nearly an entire wall of the gallery. The photographs measure up to 7’x22’; each comprised of from two 40”x80” Polacolor II panels. To make exposures of this grand scale required a camera converted from a 12’x16’ room at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Close’s models pose on a platform which is attached to a forklift truck, positioning them section by section in front of the lens. Polaroid technicians work INSIDE the camera assisting in the handling and subsequent developing of the film.
Chuck Close is best known as an artist for his larger-than-life portraits carefully derived from photographs. In these large-scale photographs, Close enlarges his nude subject matter to nearly billboard proportions, thus examining, and encouraging to examine, the devices by which pictorial illusion operate. Fundamentally a conceptualist, Close enlarges our perspective, in every sense of the word, going beyond the confusing complications of narrative, of history, of politics, and addresses the Modernist ideal of immediate, essential experience.
The exhibition is part of “INTRODUCTIONS 1985”, which is being sponsored by the San Francisco Art Dealers Association.