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Chuck Close. Large Mark Pastel. 1978

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Chuck Close (American, born 1940)

Large Mark Pastel

Pastel and watercolor on washed paper mounted on paper
55 3/4 x 43 1/4" (141.6 x 109.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Partial and promised gift of UBS
MoMA Number:
© 2015 Chuck Close
Audio Program excerpt

Contemporary Voices: Works from The UBS Art Collection

, February 4–April 25, 2005

Artist, Chuck Close: Mark is Mark Greenwald, my oldest art friend, just about. I don't do commissioned portraits. I only do images of people that matter to me.

It's gridded off into thousands of squares, and then one or two or three colors go into each into each box. The thing I loved is the dots are dumb. There's not anything symbolic about the dot. It doesn't mean anything, but because of the scale of the drawing, you get to the point where strings of dots begin to say the frames to his glasses, and maybe even a single dot would be a beard hair.

I think the thing that people misunderstand is no painting ever got made without a process. And in this in this case I found myself, as always, not mindlessly slavishly doing something as if it were just a process itself. But finding in fact how liberating a process can be. What seems like it's going to limit and close things down actually opens things up, and I can behave far more intuitively than before.

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