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Realistic Representation Chuck Close. Enduring Understanding Through the study of these artworks, students discover: 1.Why naturalism is selected as a.

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Presentation on theme: "Realistic Representation Chuck Close. Enduring Understanding Through the study of these artworks, students discover: 1.Why naturalism is selected as a."— Presentation transcript:

1 Realistic Representation Chuck Close

2 Enduring Understanding Through the study of these artworks, students discover: 1.Why naturalism is selected as a means of expression. 2.How artists use the mechanism of realistic representation to realise its purpose and function.

3 Essential Questions Overarching Questions 1. What are the criteria for a realistic artwork? 2. How do artists use realistic representation to express their artistic intentions? 3. How do artists use realistic representation as a mechanism to express social issues? Topical Questions 1. How is the subject matter in the artwork being represented? 2. Which artist is more successful in using realistic representation to express social issues? 3. Which artist is more successful in depicting a high level of technical skill?

4 5W1H When What Portraits of family & friends Where USA How Painting Printmaking Why His early learning disabilities The need to scan study and commit to memory the faces of people who matters to Close. Which Contemporary Art Photorealism

5 Keywords Photographic Super-realism Portraits Magnified Large scale Grids Finger-painting/Printmaking/Collage

6 Big Self Portrait, Acrylic on canvas, 273 x 212 cm

7 When Important events which influenced his life and artworks

8 When Scholarship to Yale Summer School of Music and Art in Norfolk, Connecticut in 1961 –Unconventional approach to teaching (eg. Drawing with long sticks dipped in ink) –It gave him the opportunity to visit New York art galleries and museums Pop artists were on the rise ( s) –Turn to photographic imagery as sources

9 Where

10 USA Abstract Expressionism and American advertising such as the billboards triggered an interest in large scale works in the 50s and 60s. However, Abstract Expressionism began to wane by 1967, though Minimalism and Pop Art were still very much alive.

11 Which Photorealism

12 Which Photorealism- by Artlex Photo-Realism is used to describe a movement (late 1960s to the 1970s) rather than the approach or technique. A realistic painting approach that includes the reproduction of details. Photographs are usually used as a reference. As a result, the painting looks almost photographic. It refers to a type of illusionism also known as super- realism. Some other artists- Duane Hanson and Richard Estes.

13 What Subject Matters – Portraits – Biomorphic Abstracts – Grid paintings – Human figures

14 What Subject Matter- Portraits His aim was to achieve an all-over, frontal, two- dimensional effect within the parameters of representational art. (Finch, 2007, p.42). He wanted to create works that are also less overtly emotional. The poses of his models and himself- objective and emotionless, as if taking a photograph for the passport. He only paints portraits of people who were close to him (eg. friends and family)

15 What Subject Matter - Biomorphic Abstracts In 1978 onwards, he began to work with dots, using fingertip in place of the airbrush. He also created portraits with evenly-spaced grid of plump lusciously-pigmented dots over a warm flesh-tinted ground and to mute the impact, he filled in these dots with smaller dabs of colour. (Finch, 2007, p. 155) Sometimes, these dots are stretched into an oval shape. Then, the small circles slowly gave way to diamond and lozenge shapes.

16 How Uses grids as the underlying basis for his works. He draws the grid onto the primed canvas to ensure accuracy of copying from each square of the grid. He uses brushes, sponges, rags and an airbrush to lay down paint in thin transparent layers. Mimic the mechanical quality of a photograph He uses various kinds of blades and electric eraser to scrape the paint off in order to reveal more white underneath. He was intending to achieve an all-over effect in which every part of the canvas had equal importance.

17 Material –brushes, sponges, rags and airbrush –blades and electric eraser Techniques –grid on primed canvas –paint in thin transparent layers –scrape the paint off in order to reveal more white underneath How

18 Big Self Portrait, Acrylic on canvas, 273 x 212 cm Black and White Heads

19 What- Big Self-Portrait An element of chance precedes this work. He was taking pictures of himself, stripped to the waist because he was still exploring the idea of the nude and thought of the head as a detail of the nude. His intention was to work from images that are not saturated with subjective information, the photograph however suggests a heck-care attitude. The black and white colour scheme was intended to emphasise the photographic origin of the image. Again, it s a work meant to be viewed in close range. Every detail in this way, has been magnified much in a way when things are viewed under a microscope.

20 Sample answers based on Frank, 1969

21 Frank, 1969 Acrylic on canvas, 274 x 213 cm Black and White Heads (a) Describe the subject matter in this work. (Ans below in the text box)

22 Frank, 1969 Acrylic on canvas, 274 x 213 cm Black and White Heads (b) How is this painting photorealistic ? TIP: Look at How. This refers to the technique of how the artist paints the portrait in a photorealistic manner? (Ans below in the text box)

23 Nancy, Acrylic on canvas, x 208,9 cm. Black and White Heads

24 Linda, Acrylic on canvas, x cm Coloured Heads

25 Mark, Acrylic on canvas, x cm Coloured Heads

26 Phil/Fingerprint, Stamp-pad ink on paper, 76.2 x 56.2 cm His Finger Paintings

27 Fanny/Finger painting, Oil-based ink on canvas, 259 x cm National Gallery of Art, USA His Finger Paintings

28 His Grid Paintings (Biomorphic abstracts) Self-Portrait, Oil on canvas, 259 x cm Private Collection

29 Lucas II, Oil on canvas, 91.4 x 76.2 cm This is painted in a concentric circle structure. It appears to have spokes extending from the center- which creates a collective energy at the center as this same energy diminishes to the edge. Using Dots

30 Keith/Mezzotint, Mezzotint on paper, x cm. His Prints

31 His Prints - (based on his biomorphic abstracts) Lyle, colour silkscreen, x cm What is silkscreen? (Go and research on it)

32 Emma, colour Japanese woodcut, x 88.9 cm His Prints (based on his biomorphic painting) See text box below for the Feldman Analysis What is Japanese woodcut?

33 Why Artist s philosophy/intentions Influences

34 Why His Background- His Early Years Close decided that he wanted to be an artist at the age of four/five. –As an only child, his mother encouraged him to fill his solitude with creative activities. –His father was an adroit (skillful) toy maker- something that might have influenced Close in his great respect for skills. It was his father who sent him to learn art from a woman with solid academic knowledge, whom they have met in a diner, for a period of over two years.

35 Why His Background- His Early Years Close was subjected to the rigour of still- life painting, landscapes en plein air and figure drawing lessons. He used to analyze and imitate the works of illustrators for magazines like the Collier s and the Saturday Evening Post.

36 Why His Background- His Early Years He suffered from a neuromuscular condition since he was very young and compensated the incapacity in sports with art. He is also dyslexic when he was discovered in school to be forming letters that are mirrored or upside-down. He learnt to break information down to smaller bits and reassemble them into a whole that turned out to be a fresh synthesis.

37 Why His Background- His Early Years Close also discovered that he suffers from prosopagnosia- a condition that prevents him from recognizing faces as a result of a malfunction in a certain area of the brain. Today, he accredits the condition for his artistic interest in the mechanics of pictorialism.

38 Why His Influence- Time Magazine Illustrators He admires artists for Time covers such as Ernest Hamlin Baker and Boris Chaliapin. Mohandas Gandhi, June 1947 cover. by Boris Chaliapin TIME Magazine Bob Hope, Sept 1943 cover. by Ernest Hamlin Baker TIME Magazine

39 Why His Influence- Jackson Pollock He was also astonished with Jackson Pollocks drip paintings when his mother took him to Seattle Art Museum, expecting to see real pictures¹. This transgression (overstepping boundary) was beginning to appeal to him. Number 23, 1948 Enamel on gesso on paper, 575 x 784 mm

40 Woman I, Oil on canvas, x cm Why His Influence- Willem de Kooning He was also drawn to the figures of Willem de Kooning- admired his ability to transform the figurative elements into the Abstract Expressionism style.

41 Modular Piece T, 1971 by Sol Le Witt Wood painted white, 61.6 cm³ Why His Influence- Sol Le Witt He came upon Sol Le Witts early wall drawings which took the form of grids-

42 The Marriage of Reason and Squalor II, 1959 by Frank Stella Enamel on canvas, x cm MoMA, New York Why His Influence- Frank Stella He was inspired by Stellas flat, frontal and non- relational abstractions.

43 Why Why Large Scale Works Close intended his large-scale works to be seen from close range (although he has no objection to his works being appreciated afar). He is more interested in the impact these huge works have on the audience at close range- the impossibility for them to digest the information in the conventional way (as in seeing it as a whole in one glance). For example, he wanted the audience to appreciate a female nude like a panoramic view of a landscape- shoulders become valleys and breasts become mountains. In this sense, he s attempting to achieve an abstract or less representational form with absolute likeness.

44 Why His Background- The Event In the year 1988, Close became paralysed, neck down, after a period of intermittent attack of angina pains (also known as chest pains). He was able to paint again after seven months of rehabilitation but with restrictions to his mobility.

45 Why Summary Dyslexia led him to reassemble smaller broken down information into a new synthesis Influenced by a myriad of artists (mainly abstract)- for his early works. Large scale to create impact at close range

46 How Materials Techniques

47 How Materials Acrylic Oil Paper- for collage works. Pastels- Closes fascination for pastels is due to the mediums purity and intensity. Pastels are dry powdered pigment without addition of any other medium. Stamp-Pad Ink Watercolour

48 How Techniques Using photographs as a reference. In this case, the camera lens has already captured the 3-D aspect of the model and reduced it into a 2-D flat representation. This produces an illusory likeness through mechanical means¹. This also allows him to realise the variations in focus due to changing depth of field, something impossible when working from life. (Tate) It is not an indication of inferiority or superiority but more of a difference in approach and results.

49 How - Close s Black and White Heads He worked from two *maquettes, each an enlargement of a photograph squared off to accommodate a grid consisting of 546 squares. The first marquette is attached to a sheet of cardboard with masking tape and the other is a montage (mosaic) of four different prints, each quadrant comprising each quarter of his face. The first marquette was printed slightly darker in order for him to see the lighter detail. The canvas was prepared with a dozen coats of *gesso, each coat being sanded down before the next application. *see text box below for definitions.

50 How - Black and White Heads Then, he transferred using a pencil from the photograph to the canvas, making use of the grid. Next, he used an airbrush with diluted acrylic paint to define the upper section of the image first, followed by the rest. He continued with the method, increasing the density of the pigment as he progresses. The highlights are created by removing the paint using razor blades and electric eraser. It is the same technique used by commercial artists.

51 How - Close s Coloured Portraits He wanted his colour portraits to be consistent with the process he had used for his black and white heads. Instead of pre-mixing the colour on the palette before applying them, he uses the method of colour separations. By superimposing transparent colours of magenta, cyan and yellow upon one another on a white background, the full colour spectrum can be perceived by the eye. He thus forms the colour portraits with three very thin, transparent layers of diluted acrylic colours- magenta, cyan and yellow.

52 How He experimented with various types of black and white mediums- ink, pencil, pulp paper, He also experimented with various types of colour medium- acrylic, ink, watercolour, Polaroid photographs and others. He also made occasional prints using mezzotint before the event. However, printmaking became more and more prevalent as a medium for his works in the 1980s. Close approach to his works is driven by process.

53 How Summary Photographs as reference Using a 546-square grid system Primed canvas Pencil transfer Airbrush with diluted acrylic paint Scrape off paint to create highlights Method of color separation- builds them up from cyan, magenta and yellow.

54 How


56 References Finch, C. (2007). Chuck Close: Work. Prestel Verlag: New York. Engberg, S. (2005). The Paper Mirror in Chuck Close: Self Portraits d= &artistid=920&tabview=bio p?criteria=O:AD:E:1156&page_number=1&template _id=6&sort_order=1

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