em>From Andrew Frost…
Working for nearly four and half decades American artist Chuck Close has dedicated himself to portraiture. Often working from the same source images photographed decades ago, Close explores what seems like an exhaustive range of possibilities in various print making methods from lithograph, etching and aquatint to woodcuts, silkscreen and linocuts. Close recomposes his images of friends, family and fellow artists in almost identical face-on, head-an-shoulders composition varying the presence of the image through the layering of colours and inks and that produce a range of intensities from not-quite-there to full colour, from small drawings to wall-scale fabric hangings.
The exhibition Chuck Close: Prints, Process and Collaboration, the MCA’s contribution to this year’s International Art Series along with Pop to Popism at the Art Gallery of NSW – is an exhaustive and extensive survey of Closes’s work. The emphasis here is on the process behind the image: hanging alongside many of the works are the plates, screens and matrix used to create the images, an obsession with process, that reveals the layers of trace, colour and materials that go into creating the illusion of a final image. Mixed through the show are Close’s recent works produced with the aid of a computer, as well as his paintings that are painstakingly created since the spinal artery collapse that paralyzed him in 1988 confined him to a wheelchair.
Until March 15
Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks
Pic: Chuck Close, Bob, 1969-70. Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 275×213.5cms.