From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chuck Thomas Close (born July 5, 1940, Monroe,
Washington) is an American painter and photographer who achieved
fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits.
Though a catastrophic spinal artery collapse in 1988 left him
severely paralyzed, he has continued to paint and produce work
which remains sought after by museums and collectors.
Most of his early works are very large portraits based on
photographs (Photorealism or Hyperrealism technique). In 1962,
he received his B.A. from the University of Washington in
Seattle. He then attended graduate school at Yale University,
where he received his MFA in 1964. After Yale, he lived in
Europe for a while on a Fulbright grant. When he returned to the
US, he worked as an art teacher at the University of
In 1969 his work was included
in the Whitney Biennial. His first one man show was in 1970.
Close's work was first exhibited at the New York Museum of
Modern Art in early 1973. One demonstration of the way
photography became assimilated into the art world is the success
of photorealist painting in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It
is also called super-realism or hyper-realism and painters like
Richard Estes, Denis Peterson, Audrey Flack, and Chuck Close
often worked from photographic stills to create paintings that
appeared to be photographs. The everyday nature of the subject
matter of the paintings likewise worked to secure the painting
as a realist object.
One photo of Philip Glass was
included in his black and white series in 1969, redone with
water colors in 1977, again redone with stamp pad and
fingerprints in 1978, and also done as gray handmade paper in