Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition Chuck Close Self Portraits 1967-2001. This is the first exhibition to explore Close’s self portraits, perhaps his central recurrent motif, in all media – painting, photography, drawing and printmaking – across three decades.
In the late 1960s, when figurative representation was commonly considered finished, Close made it his launching pad for a lifetime of artistic exploration, proving through the ensuing decades that the subject was far from exhausted. Beginning with intimate images of self and family, he problematized the idea of the portrait, each subject and its representation posing a new set of questions. Close’s approach is nuanced, literally, a method of focusing in on each detail of the face and describing each with exquisite precision. The result, an amalgam of innumerable closely-observed parts, places these images neatly between abstraction and mirrored likeness, both detached and intimate. This method of rendering becomes particularly fascinating when the subject scrutinized is Close himself.
The works on view vary widely, both in process and scale, from a 10 x 8 inch contact sheet to a recent gargantuan 88 x 68 inch digital inkjet print. Close approaches each medium with great elasticity. Here his sense of depth and range is likewise apparent; within photography, for example, he has explored every medium from traditional gelatin-silver printing, to Polaroids, holograms, and daguerreotypes. By using all the means to which he has access, Close has spent over three decades pushing representation to its furthest limits.