Chuck Close has used portraiture as his subject for over 40 years. Tirelessly yet with innovation, Close has recorded the faces of the famous and infamous, including Phillip Glass, Alex Katz, Lucas Samaras and, more recently, President Barack Obama and model Kate Moss. Close suffers from Prosopagnosia, also know as face blindness. On the subject, Close has said, “I was not conscious of making a decision to paint portraits because I have difficulty recognizing faces. That occurred to me twenty years after the fact when I looked at why I was still painting portraits, why that still had urgency for me. I began to realize that it has sustained me for so long because I have difficulty in recognizing faces.” A sitter the artist returns to again and again is himself, making his face the subject of countless paintings, photographs, prints and weavings. The self-portrait in the Lannan Collection is in the form of a Daguerreotype, a direct positive photograph made on a silvered copper plate, a process created in 1837 and again made popular by Chuck Close.
Born in 1940, Chuck Close has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions worldwide. In 2003 Lannan Foundation made a grant in support of the exhibition Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration and in 2006 Lannan supported Aperture Foundation in the publication of Chuck Close: A Couple of Ways of Doing Something.