Chuck Close is known as much for his detailed representation of the human face as he is for his subsequent deconstruction of it. Close uses head-on portraits as his templates, exploring portraiture and his subjects through a variety of drawing and painterly techniques, as well as through printmaking, tapestry and photography. John (1971–72) one of Close’s earliest paintings, is described as photo-realist. Indeed, Close refers to photographs to create his artworks, employing their inconsistencies perspective as much as their verisimilitude.
Here, the sharp detail of the rim of the subject’s glasses contrasts with the blurred soft focus of his shoulders and the back of his hair, as it likely did in the original photograph. But instead of using mechanical means to transfer his images onto canvas, Close works entirely from sight to achieve the intensely animate detail, sectioning off the reference photographs into grids and transferring each piece by hand onto is monumental canvases,
Artist Chuck Close is renowned for his highly inventive investigations into how we process information. Celebrated internationally, Close uses the absolute minimum amount of information necessary to render likenesses. In the new works for his sixteenth exhibition with Pace, entitled Red Yellow Blue , Close continues his involvement with the grid as an organizing device, creating full-color paintings out of only cyan, magenta, and yellow pigments, and layering colors in singular brushstrokes; applying multiple thin washes of red, yellow and blue paint in each cell of the grid, until they accumulate into extravagant full-color images.
Although the works represent a new direction for Close, they are also a revival and reconsideration of processes he first used in the 1970s when he first restricted his palette to three colors, coaxing different saturations of paint and hue into photorealist portraits; however, this time the color has no relationship to reality.
The earliest works in the exhibition — portraits of Cindy Sherman and Cecily Brown — reveal the beginnings of this process, leaving the painting’s development visible.
When viewed up close, the portrayed subjects disintegrate into grids of color evocative of Paul Klee’s Magic Square paintings. These works attest to a heightened interest in the effects of color and suggest a new way of challenging the processes through which his portraits are constructed. It allows the arrtist to create distinct works from the same image through different saturations and juxtapositions of hue.
Chuck Close: Red Yellow Blue will be on Exhibit Through October 17th, 2015 at Pace Gallery, Located at 534 West 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Sean Kelly (With Kehinde Wiley Painting). This Image Courtesy Andy Freeberg. All Other Photos By Gail.
Andrea Meislin Gallery is currently hosting a fun exhibit which will be especially enjoyed by those that have experience with and an appreciation for the inner workings of the art business.
In Art Fare – Photographer Andy Freeberg’s second solo exhibition at the gallery – Freeberg continues his longstanding investigation of the junctions where art and people intersect. Roaming through international art fairs with his camera, Freeberg’s gaze pauses on the oddity of human behavior and frames the small moments in life as dramatic events.
Quick and skillful with his lens, Freeberg captures what is most often overlooked; gallery workers setting up booths, dealers on their phones ignoring their colleagues or interacting with artists and collectors, and the sheer exhaustion of working at contemporary art fairs.
In a conversation with art historian W. M. Hunt, Freeberg says that he “found the lighting, the costumes, and set design excellent for photographing these living dioramas where the art world plays itself.” It is definitely fun to realize that these photos were not staged in any way.
Art Fare gracefully offers an ironic look at the way in which the art world practitioners perform their assigned roles. It is a witty and subversive body of work that contemplates on the performance aspect of the art market. Freeberg’s ability to recognize moments and construct them as thoughtful compositions presents both his aesthetic and psychological sensibilities.
Art Fare by Andy Freeberg will be on Exhibit Through August 8th, 2014 at Andrea Meislin Gallery, Located at 534 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Julian Schnabel Are Part of The Art Army Royalty
Holy Cow, am I ever excited to tell you about a new art show that is must-see caliber material! The Jonathan Levine Gallery is currently hosting what may just be the coolest art exhibit in Manhattan! Michael Leavitt’s Art Army Royalty is a mind blowing collection of 11-inch ‘action figure’ sculptures based on some of the world’s most popular contemporary artists, as interpreted through their particular distinctive art medium. The detail in these miniature sculptures is just amazing. I had fun examining each one and trying to guess, based on all of the meticulous details, who it was, before looking at the name – most of the time it was easy, but not always!
According to the exhibit’s Press Release, each figure is sculpted from scratch in polymer clay, surface-finished and texturized with acrylic paint and mixed media. Leavitt engineers the miniature sculptures with articulating joints, assembling moving body parts with elastic cord so that the figures can be posed. Leavitt’s Art Army is a satire on consumer culture, reducing the collector compulsion of two markets —art and product — into a miniature scale. Using the vinyl toy industry as a vehicle to convey the phenomenon of idolization and celebrity status in contemporary art and culture, Leavitt transforms the subjects into caricatures, along with the work they are best known for. Examples include portrayals of Damien Hirst as a bisected shark, Jeff Koons as a balloon animal, and Kara Walker with a paper-thin silhouette.
Matthew Barney As Depicted in His Cremaster Series Films
While Levine does not have Leavitt’s full collection on display (Ron English was conspicuously absent), you can preview what’s in store for you when you do visit the gallery at This Link. Definitely, this was the most fun I have had at an exhibit in a long time! Don’t miss it!
Michael Leavitt’s Art Army Royalty Runs through October 8, 2011 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery, located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor (West of 10th Avenue) in New York. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.