Chuck Close is devoted to process. Printmaking is an ideal form for his painstakingly detailed artwork.
Close refers to these portraits as ‘heads’ to reinforce objective distance. Each print is based on a photograph that is broken down into a grid then carefully and inventively reconstructed. The result is an abstracted image that coalesces into a watery face as you move away.
These massive prints tower over you, each face filling the frame with sober stares reminiscent of a mug shot or passport photo.
Some of the colours are dizzying and the meticulous nature of each print overstated; but the over saturation of Close’s repetitive documentation encourages an engaging examination of portraiture.
Self-Portrait (aka Pink T-Shirt), 2013, Archival watercolour pigment print (90º) on Hahnemühle rag paper, © Chuck Close, Photo: Donald Farnswoth, Magnolia Editions, Courtesy Pace Gallery and White Cube.
‘Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration’, South Gallery, White Cube Bermondsey, © Chuck Close, Photo: Ben Westoby, Courtesy White Cube.
Lucas, 2011, Jacquard tapestry, © Chuck Close, Courtesy Pace Gallery and White Cube.