The Westport Arts Center’s exhibition Chuck Close: About Face (Nov 2013 – Jan 2014) brought together the internationally renowned works of Chuck Close with local experiences of Westport residents in a singular and memorable exhibition.
Previous Visual Arts Director Helen Klisser integrated together silkscreens, woodcuts, linocuts, etchings, relief prints, color Polaroids, and charcoal drawing from 5 different Connecticut and New York collections. The works featured the portraits of friends, family, and artists, including Lynda Benglis, Cecily Brown, Lyle Ashton Harris, Keith Hollingworth, Andrés Serrano, James Siena, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, and Joe Zucker, as well as composer Philip Glass, collector Agnes Gund, and Close’s first art dealer, Klaus Kertess.
“These 38 exhibited works have been brought together for the first time from some of the most important art collections in the world. The works, which span four decades, offer the viewer a comprehensive bite-size look into the extraordinary oeuvre of one the most important contemporary artists of the 21st century,” said Klisser During.
Work from New York galleries Pace Prints and Pace/MacGill were displayed alongside artwork from local collectors. Robert Elson, a Westport resident and friend and subject of Close’s in the 1970s and 80s, loaned 8 works, including a rare charcoal portrait of himself, from his private collection. Joel and Sherry Mallin, who are among the top contemporary art collectors in the world, contributed several artworks from the Sherry H. Greenberg-Mallin collection.
Together, the work created a compelling lens through which to view Close’s process. Kristy Bryce, Director of Eykyn Maclean Gallery and curator of Chuck Close: Photo Maquettes, said of the Westport Arts Center’s exhibition, “This show presents a rare opportunity to examine Close’s work over the course of his long and immensely inventive career. With photo maquettes, drawings, and a variety of printmaking techniques on display in this exhibition, viewers will be able to delve into Close’s creative processes and his unique way of transforming the information contained in each square of his gridded photographs into the finished work of art.”