Chuck Close: Life and Work 1988-1995

Overview

In December 1988, at a high point of his career, a collapsed spinal artery left the painter Chuck Close paralyzed from the shoulders down. He was famous by then for his monumental portraits that deconstructed the conventional notions of identity and personality. Now Close was forced to confront his own identity: could a paralyzed man make monumental art? Three years later, a show of new Close paintings appeared; to the astonishment of the art world, they were as large and powerful as ever. Not only had he found a...
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Overview

In December 1988, at a high point of his career, a collapsed spinal artery left the painter Chuck Close paralyzed from the shoulders down. He was famous by then for his monumental portraits that deconstructed the conventional notions of identity and personality. Now Close was forced to confront his own identity: could a paralyzed man make monumental art? Three years later, a show of new Close paintings appeared; to the astonishment of the art world, they were as large and powerful as ever. Not only had he found a way to paint his physically demanding portraits again; they had also been transformed. A more impressionistic and dynamic vision now throbbed from his canvases with new emotional intensity. In this book, Close has collaborated with his friend, playwright John Guare, to produce a narrative account that tells the story of what Close calls "the event": the day of the trauma itself, the months of slowly recovering the minimal movement that allows him to still paint, and the transformation of his art as a result. The book also brings together all of his new paintings from the last seven years, including images of Roy Lichtenstein, Eric Fischl, April Gornik, and other major contemporary artists. Taking the reader even further into his vision, Close brings Guare behind the canvas and into the Polaroid studio to photograph him as a potential subject for a new portrait. With a unique combination of documentary photographs and commentary, Close shows how he conceives and begins the process of making a portrait, and how the subject plays a role in shaping the final image.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1988, an occluded spinal artery left painter Chuck Close partially paralyzed, yet since his injury, this artist famed for his monumental photorealist portraits has produced some of his most vigorous and intense work. This informal scrapbook, which reproduces all of his new paintings from the last seven years, includes an interview conducted by his friend, playwright John Guare, plus Guare's commentary on Close's new directions. Many of the artist's larger-than-life-size faces are now patterned into gridlike human ``landscapes'' composed of myriad cells, each cell filled with a swirling miniature blob of color. This slightly eerie technique adds a psychological dimension to Close's deconstructions of the way our brains rearrange visual sensations into coherent images. Featured here are his portraits of many contemporary artists, including April Gornick, Eric Fischl, Cindy Sherman, Roy Lichtenstein, Dorothea Rockburne and Francesco Clemente. First serial to Interview magazine. (Dec.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780737258844
  • Publisher: \
  • Publication date: 12/1/1995
  • Pages: 142

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