This exhibition was amazing. I could have spent hours there just staring at the work from a distance and then close up, and then from a distance again...
|Lucas (1986–1987), oil & pencil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York. Detail at right of eye. The pencil grid and thin undercoat of blue is visible beneath the splotchy "pixels." The painting's subject is fellow artist Lucas Samaras. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
We had seen some of Chuck Close's work while we were in California last year, and was intrigued enough to take a pic to remind myself, so when I heard there was an exhibition in London, I was very excited. I also gave me an opportunity to get to the White Cube.
From the blurb:
Close made his first print in 1972 and, since then, has tirelessly explored the possibilities and limits of the print medium.
Each image is...built up through a series of incremental, abstract marks, irregular in length and density, applied in various ways such as a brushstroke, dot, dash, thumb print, threaded knot or particle of paper. This wealth of incidental surface activity coalesces into a coherent representational image and Close is adept at exploiting the specific tendencies of each print medium - whether it be the complex, reverse compositional build up of reduction linocut, the uncontrollable nature of sculptural pulp paper particles or the antiquated method of mezzotint that has not been widely used for 100 years - to further the complexity of the image.
The exhibition was very focused on his methods, which, as a budding printmaker, I found fascinating. I really enjoyed the way they showed how the prints were made and had step by step build ups to show how the many layers built up to make the final item. The plates and woodblocks, which are often left unshown in the print room, were displayed proudly next to the prints themselves.
- I would enjoy working like this - The joy of drawing grids
- 126 colour screenprints, on a massive scale
- The scale of the lino reduction print let you see all the cuts
- None of the work is photomechanically transferred (impressive in itself, plus I hadn't known there was a word for that!)
- He doesn't feel the need to vary his content, with some images being used multiple times for different pieces.