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Chuck Close Gone

from The New York Times

Chuck Close, Artist of Outsized Reality, Dies at 81

He found success with his large-scale Photorealist portraits, becoming one of the leading artists of his generation. 

By Ken Johnson and Robin Pogrebin

Chuck Close’s “Big Self-Portrait,” painted in 1968, was the first of his colossal Photorealist portraits and remains one of his best known. Credit…Chuck Close, via Pace Gallery

Chuck Close, who rose to prominence in the 1970s and ’80s with colossal Photorealist portraits of himself, family members and fellow artists, died on Thursday in a hospital in Oceanside, N.Y. He was 81.

At the end of the 1960s, a period when formalist abstraction and Pop Art dominated the contemporary scene, Mr. Close began using an airbrush and diluted black paint to create highly detailed nine-foot-tall grisaille paintings based on mug-shot-like photographs of himself and his friends.

His first, and still one of his best known, is a self-portrait in which he stares impassively back at the camera through plastic black-rimmed glasses. He has messy, stringy hair, his face is unshaved, and a cigarette with smoke rising from it juts from the corner of his mouth — a rebel with a new artistic cause.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on August 19, 2021 by Editor

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