No one can paint a face quite like Chuck Close. From a distance, his massive portraits appear as realistic as photographs, but look closely, and you’ll notice that each painting is in fact composed of hundreds, maybe thousands, of smaller paintings. This technique, coupled with an intensely human emotive candor, has made him one of America’s most esteemed and valuable living artists, made even more impressive by the fact that in 1988, a spinal artery collapse left him paralyzed, and he now paints using a special brush-holding device attached to his forearm. His work resides in the collections of the Metropolitan, Tate Modern, and Pompidou, but most recently, a large selection has made its way to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney, where more than 200 of his paintings, photos, and prints comprise Chuck Close: Prints, Process, and Collaboration (through Mar. 15), the largest exhibition of his work ever presented in the Southern Hemisphere. The exhibit spans his career of more than 40 years, ranging from an early, large-scale mezzotint print Keith (1972) of his ceramics teacher at the University of Massachusetts to more recent self-portraits. The exhibition is part of the annual Sydney International Art Series, which is also hosting Pop to Popism (through Mar. 1) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, examining the pop art movement through works by the most famous artists of the genre, including Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, and David Hockney.
For more information, visit Sydney International Art Series.