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Lesson Plans

Chuck Close

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Betty Bowen (
Mon, 8 Feb 1999 09:15:20 -0600

Ron, I appreciated your discussion of Chuck Close. You mention a "modified
technique". I've heard that from others, and it confuses me a little. I had
the good fortune of spending a few hours in his studio in the mid 80's,
pre-stroke (thanks to a great grad-school course). He'd just started the
really colorful brushier paintings. And you're so right - like many
printmakers, I met a number of "famous" artists as a student (cheap labor)
and Chuck really stands out in my mind as SUCH a nice modest generous
friendly person. In the PBS piece he was working exactly the same way as I
had seen at that time. The big change I saw was - in the 80's he sat in a
chair on a forklift that moved up and down the canvas - now he's in the
wheelchair and the canvas moves up and down like flats do backstage- down
into the floor. But the painting process itself looked the same. He told us
he approached each square like GOLF (of all things). The first color is just
getting the ball onto the green - and so on. He also told us he came to the
grid process through learning to read - his dyslexia was so severe he had to
circle words in books so he could tell which direction he was reading. What
amazed me after the stroke was that his work hadn't appeared to change at
all, but I haven't seen a post-stroke painting with my own eyes - what
change in technique do you see that am I missing? (I also think his
fingerprint paintings would be great with students)