Exhibition at the Museum of the Arts of Ravenna (MAR)
October 5, 2019 – January 12, 2020
The exhibition at the Ravenna Museum of Art presents a new series of mosaic works, surrounded by related works such as prints, tapestries and photographs, and documents the work done by Mosaika Art and Design and Magnolia Edition to implement work at Second Avenue-86th Street Station in New York.
Chuck Close is an American artist known for his large-scale photorealistic portraits. He builds paintings using a grid in which each square on the canvas corresponds to a square cell in the reference photograph. The focus is on self-portraits or portraits of his family and friends, including artists Richard Serra, Alex Katz, Cindy Sherman, and Cecily Brown. Close’s compositions come in to focus the further an observer stands from them.
”I realized that to deal with your nature is also to construct a series of limitations which just don’t allow you to behave the way you most naturally want to behave,” he said of his technique. “So, I found it incredibly liberating to work for a long time on something even though I’m impatient.”
Over the years, Chuck has studied a wide range of mosaic techniques, processes, and materials in connection with his participation in a public art project for the New York Subway. The Subway Portraits series consists of twelve works made of mosaics and ceramics, and was commissioned as part of the Art and Design program of the Metropolitan Transport Authority in 2017.
Born July 5, 1940 in Monroe, Washington, the artist struggled his whole life with dyslexia and facial agnosia throughout his life. He went on to receive his MFA from the Yale School of Art in 1962, while at Yale he worked in an Abstract Expressionist style.
It was after seeing Sol LeWitt’s process-based work that Close began experimenting with the grid system he is now known for. In 1988, Close suffered damage to his anterior spinal artery leaving him paralyzed and wheelchair bound. Undeterred, the artist adapted his method of painting to compensate and now works with a brush strapped to his wrist.
His works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and others. Close currently lives and works between New York and Long Island.