Chuck Close, a photographer, painter, and printmaker best known for his monumental grid portraits and photo-based paintings of family and famous friends, has died at the age of 81.
Close died on Thursday at a hospital in Oceanside, New York, according to his attorney, John Silberman. He didn’t mention the cause of his death.
He was recognized for using a grid structure for the portrayal of an image in nearly all of his works, which he stated helped him break the face down into “incremental units.” He had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1973.
Close was born in Monroe, Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle, and received an MFA from Yale University.
He created a variety of paintings that dissect the human face of such celebrities as President Bill Clinton, composer Philip Glass, and the artist himself, which took time and effort.
His work has been seen in museums, galleries, and even in the New York City subway. Close was accused of sexual harassment in 2017 by some women who said he made inappropriate sexual comments to them when they went to his studio in the past to potentially be models for him.
He told The New York Times that he had discussed to the women about their bodies as part of his evaluation of them as models, and he apologized for any discomfort he had caused.
As per Hollywood Reporter, Close, who was diagnosed with dementia-related disorders in 2013, also had mobility issues that necessitated his use of a wheelchair.
In describing Close’s paintings and prints for an exhibition titled “Familiar Faces: Chuck Close in Ohio Collections,” the Akron Art Museum in Ohio said, the “pixilated” images in Close’s work “are filled with tiny abstract colored shapes, individual brushstrokes or even the artist’s fingerprints. When viewed from a distance, the individual marks miraculously resolve into a surprisingly realistic face.”