Portraits, Power, and Persuasion:

Chuck Close Photographs and Roman Portraiture

Why contrast Chuck Close’s work with the Romans? Because they produced the largest body of marble portraits, whose faces stare out at us, demanding our attention. Close has expressed his desire to be evaluated in relation to other portraits throughout art’s history, even making explicit reference to Roman art during an interview. Michael Pratt is particularly interested in the way Roman portrait faces, like Close’s heads, are “in your face,” both immediate and powerful.

But Chuck Close Photographs presents more than just heads. Kim Cabrera juxtaposes the treatment of the female body in Roman portrait statues with Close’s nudes and his often fragmented images of their torsos.

This virtual exhibition places Close’s work in academic conversation with one of his historical influences, and explores the way artists manipulate fundamental elements of portraiture (head, face, body). The WildCard page also encourages viewers to make their own comparisons and interpet the messages sent by these extraordinary works of art.

Chuck Close Photographs

September 11 - December 6, 2015
Opening Reception: September 10, 5-7 PM

University Museum of Contemporary Art

Tuesday-Friday: 11 am to 4:30 pm

Saturday and Sunday: 2pm to 5pm

Chuck Close Self-Portrait Maquette, 1968 Chuck Close, Self-Portrait Maquette, 1968
Four gelatin silver prints sored with ink, masking tape, and airbursh paint mounted on foamcore
30 x 24” (76.2 x 61 cm)
Photograph courtesy the artist and Pace Gallery
© Chuck Close, courtesy Pace Gallery