Lot 10
  • 10

Chuck Close

bidding is closed


  • Chuck Close
  • John
  • each: signed, titled twice, dated 1972 and numbered (respectively 1-5)
  • dye transfer photographs mounted on paperboard with ink, graphite, masking tape and acrylic

  • each sheet: 24 x 20 in. 61 x 50.8 cm.


Bykert Gallery, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above on February 29, 1974 for $675 


Chicago, The David and Alfred Smart Gallery, University of Chicago, on extended loan, 1975-1991
Chicago, The David and Alfred Smart Gallery, University of Chicago, Contemporary Art from the Robert B. Mayer Collection, January - March 1976, cat. no. 3
Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, on extended loan, 1991-2005

Catalogue Note

Photographic processes were key to the return of color to Chuck Close’s paintings in 1970. The discipline of scientific and mechanical color processes dictated his airbrush technique which painstakingly reproduced the literal qualities of color. Transfering the photographic composition of John to a grid on the canvas, Close transferred the color square by square, color by color.

As the artist has described the process, ``The fewest number of colors needed to construct the full chromatic range of a color photograph is three: red (magenta), blue (cyanne), and yellow. The color is applied much the same way as in the black and white paintings, but now three colors have to be applied separately. This is done in layers – one color superimposed over another – with every area of the painting having some of all three colors present in varying densities. The relative percentage of each color controls the hue and its intensity. The relative density of the combined colors determines its value. There is no white paint used, and there is consequently no need for a palette as the paint is literally mixed on the canvas.’’ (Exh. Cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Chuck Close: Recent Work, 1971, n.p.)