Chuck Close, Artist Known For His Monumental Grid Portraits, Dies At 81


Chuck Close, a painter, photographer, and printmaker best known for his monumental grid portraits and paintings based on photographs of famous friends and family, has died. He was 81 years old.

His attorney, John Silberman, said Close died Thursday at a hospital in Oceanside, New York. He did not give the cause of death.

Close, whose professional highlights include a one-man show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1973, was known for using a grid structure for the representation of an image in almost all of his works, which, he said, helped break the face down. in “incremental units”.

With a lot of time and work, he produced a plethora of paintings that dissected the human faces of such luminaries as President Bill Clinton, composer Philip Glass, and the artist himself.

His works have been exhibited in museums, galleries, and even on the New York City subway.

In 2017, Close faced allegations of sexual harassment from some women who said he made inappropriate sexual comments when they had come to his studio to potentially be models for him in previous years.

He told The New York Times that he had spoken to women about their bodies as part of his assessment as models, and he apologized for causing them inconvenience.

Chuck Close died at age 81, and many of us will have mixed feelings about a man who was, all of a sudden, a great artist, an entertaining friend, and sadly, an abuser of female confidence.

– Deborah Solomon (@deborahsolo) August 19, 2021

Close, who had been diagnosed with dementia-related conditions in 2013, also had serious mobility problems after suffering a spinal artery collapse in 1988, forcing him to use a wheelchair.

In Close’s work, the “pixelated” images “are filled with tiny abstract colored shapes, individual brush strokes or even the artist’s fingerprints.

When viewed from a distance, individual marks miraculously resolve into a strikingly realistic face, “the Akron Museum of Art in Ohio said in describing Close’s paintings and prints for an exhibition titled” Familiar Faces: Chuck Close in Collections. from Ohio “.

Born in Monroe, Wisconsin, Close graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle and received an MFA from Yale University.

He was married twice, both of which ended in divorce, and is survived by two daughters.


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