This slideshow contains nudity.
“I want to make ambitious photographs that reflect the same values and interests as the rest of my work. I don’t see it as a lesser art form. It’s different, and I like the fact that it’s different.” –Chuck Close
Photographs made by Chuck Close, who is widely known as a painter, are the subject of a current exhibition at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Organized by the Parrish Art Museum, Chuck Close Photographs, on view until April 8, 2018, is composed of approximately 90 images that span 1964 to the present, showing how the artist’s aesthetic has developed over time.
“Chuck Close regularly stretches the boundaries of photography, exploring how images can be broken apart and reassembled, and challenging the way the eye sees. The exhibition marks the first time that Close’s overall body of work in photography will be brought together in a museum show, allowing the pieces to be in conversation with each other and the audience.” states the press release.
Photography is the only medium through which Close has delved into a genre other than portraiture. For example, work in the exhibition includes Composite Polaroids that depict nudes and flower studies. There are also holograms, daguerreotypes, and Woodburytypes, a late 19th century invention that is both a printing process and the print that it produces. Historical processes like the daguerrotype, which was most popular in the mid 1800s, and the Woodburytype, are attractive to Close, an artist concerned with what has come before while pioneering new territory. The results of the multiple exposures of a single subject that Close began making in the late 1970s, like Bertrand II and Laura I, are said to be the catalyst for his belief that photography could be an end result, valid in its own right, rather than a tool for his paintings.
In its entirety, Chuck Close Photographs shows the “full range of the artist’s curiosity and spirit of exploration and innovation,” reads a wall text in the exhibition.
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