Chuck Close.

Chuck Close at Gallery Met
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            All of the pieces in this show are of the same image: Phillip Glass. Throughout the years Chuck Close has used the same subject and explored it through repetition and different mediums. All of the pieces in this exhibit are created from the same photograph, except in his newer work. In his recent work he uses an image of Phillip Glass as an old man, and uses different techniques to explore him.
            From far away Phillip Glass (State II), 2006  looks like a photograph, a black and white portrait. As you step closer the picture becomes pixilated. Closer, and you can see the subtle variations in color. Closer, and you can see that it’s composed of stitching- it’s a tapestry. Phillip Glass is the subject, in a collared shirt, messy hair. The edge of the figure are blurred, traditional of Close. The man is wrinkle-filled, forehead lines and depth. His mouth is slightly open and he stares dead at you. While the piece looks like a photograph from a distance, up close the blurred edges become abstract shapes.
            Phil/fingerprint, 1981 this lithography portrait is composed of fingerprints. The concept of using your own finger prints to compose another person is strange. It makes me curious about their relationship. The shadows of his face and his hair are dark from overlapping, in these spaces the lines in the ink are less noticeable (sometimes they overlap so much they become only black spaces). In the areas where there aren’t dark shadows you can see all the details of Close’s fingerprints.
            Phil (Black), Phil (Grey), Phil (White), are a series of relief prints with embossment on handmade paper. Phil (Black) has grey ink on black paper. It’s pixilated even from a distance. It’s broken up into a grid with some of the blocks as solid colors to create the lines and shadows within Phillip Glass’ face. Phil (Grey) has black ink on a blueish grey paper with the same image. Phil (White) is the same image as well, with black ink on white paper.
            Phil II (Grey), 1982 is on handmade grey paper. This piece is also broken into a grid. Black, white, and grey paint on handmade gray paper. The squares are painted only a pit so the grey paper shows through on some of them, creating more shapes within the piece thank Phil (Black, Phil (Grey), and Phil (White) pieces. There is more definition in this piece. At a distance it comes into focus.
            Black and white composed of dots, it looks like pointillism with thread. Phil/tapestry 2001 is made from silk. This piece has a lot of detail and looks realistic in an illustrative way. Unlike the first piece, Phillip Glass (State II), it isn’t realistic in the way a photograph is. This piece looks like a representation of Phillip Glass, like a cartoon, almost.
            Phil Spitbite, 1995 uses a printmaking technique called spitbite etching. In this piece there is a black lined grid and dots are on top of each square. The dots vary in shade. At a distant you can still see the circles making up the image but if you squint your eyes Phillip Glass comes to life, and the white spaces between the dots come out of hiding.
            Phil/Rubberstamp, 1976 is a grid with the letters A-V at the top and numbers 1-28 along the left side. Boxes are filled with cross hatching lines. The darker parts of the picture have more lines, the lighter parts have less lines.
            Large Phil Fingerprint/Random, 1979, stamp pad ink on canvas backed paper
Looks similar to the other fingerprint image. Makes me wonder why he wanted to do another, it doesn’t seem random compared to the other. They are the same only this one is larger.
            Phil, 1973, is made of ink and graphite on graph paper. This image is labeled with letters and numbers on the top and side of the graph too. The portrait is in the center of a piece of graph paper. Graphite pencil boxes are around ever four blue squares that are printed on the graph paper, creating boxes within boxes. The image of Phillip Glass is very light and blurry, the graph shows as much as the portrait.
            The next piece is the largest in the gallery. It stretches nearly the entire length of the gallery wall. Phil, 1969, is an acrylic painting on canvas. In this portrait  you can see every crack in his lip, every hair on his face, the water in his eye. This painting is amazingly real. Phil’s hair turns to blurs at the edges ( of course) but in this piece white lines wisp over his strands of blurred hair. These lines seem more important than the rest of the piece. Outside of the image of Phillip Glass you can see faded pencil grid marks.

            Phil/Watercolor, 1997 is the only watercolor painting in this show. Graphite gridlines filled with various shades of grey watercolor. The squares are only partly filled like Phill II (Grey).
            The next piece titled Phil/Fingerprint II, 1978, is stamp pad ink and graphite on paper. This piece explains  why he called “Large Phil Fingerprint/Random” random. In the random piece there are no girds and the fingerprints don’t function within squares. In Phil/Fingerprint II each grid square has a print in it with different tones in the squares. Some squares just have a bit of fingerprint in them.
            Phil, 2001 is a daquerrotype. I’ve never seen one of these before. It’s a box like contraption. On the bottom of the inside is a sepia toned Phil. It looks like a mirror with a photo inside it. This portrait of Phil is when he is an old man.
            Phil/Fingerprint, 1980, stamp pad ink on paper. Like the other fingerprint series. “Random” fingerprints without a grid. This piece is done on a larger scale.
            Phil (houndstooth check)) 2008, embossed paper print version. Like the Phil (Black), Phil (Grey), Phil (White) series. The embossment in this piece is even deeper. I don’t know what “paper print version” means. Maybe he’s experimenting with modern technology in his work now.
            Phil (anamorphic), 2007, engraving with embossment on white handmade paper.
The paper is laid flat on a stool. In the center there is a mirror like cylinder. You can see Glass as if you were looking at the Phil (Black), Phil (Grey), Phil (White) series when you look into the mirror. If you look down at the paper you see circular distorted blurs.

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