Chuck Close is renowned for his innovative conceptual portraiture. He began creating photorealist portraits from photographs in the late 1960s, using a grid to map each facial detail. In the late 1970s, he began shifting away from this approach, creating images with layers of autonomous shapes and colors that cohere into his subject’s face when viewed from a distance. Constantly revitalizing his practice, Close works across a variety of media, extending beyond painting to encompass printmaking, photography, collage, and tapestries based on Polaroids.
In 2000, Close was presented with the prestigious National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has served on the board of many arts organizations, and in 2010, was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.