cover image Chuck Close

Chuck Close

Rizzoli, Storr, Chuck Close. Rizzoli International Publications, $45 (184pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-0808-3

Close's enormous, head-on portraits make us acutely aware that objectivity is a pose. Recently, this photo-realist painter has branched out in different directions. His Polaroid photographs of nudesover-lifesize, multipanel assemblagesare anatomically detailed yet erotically neutral. Their relaxed subjects are presented warmly instead of clinically, as we had come to expect of his work; some of them even smile. Gargantuan, multidot paintings reminiscent of Seurat's pointillist style smudge their way toward realism. Close's recent pictures of his daughter and his friends combine a soft, impressionistic surface with an ultrarealist attitude. With some 250 illustrations (50 in color), this monograph consists of two essays, both of which argue that Close has at least as much in common with conceptualism and minimalism as with photo-realism. Lyons is the author of Close Portraits, Storr of Philip Guston. (September 9)