Self-Portrait (Yellow Raincoat)
Courtesy of the artist and Donald Farnsworth, Magnolia Editions, Oakland, California
© Chuck Close
Despite his more than forty years of experience in portraiture, celebrated in a critically acclaimed 2005 traveling exhibition co-organized by SFMOMA, Chuck Close continually explores new angles and techniques, taking one of the most classic artistic formats and leading viewers — and himself — to look at it differently. He originally was drawn to portraits because of their unpopularity among fellow artists in the 1960s, noting that this gave him greater freedom to experiment and hone his approach. In the intervening years, his constant reexamination of both the portrait and the self-portrait has resulted in some of the most influential and admired artwork of the twentieth century.
SFMOMA boasts a particularly rich concentration of Close's work, including his 1997 Robert, currently on view in the Logan Collection exhibition. His work has also been featured in the Venice Biennale, the Carnegie International, and Documenta, and he received the National Medal of Arts in 2000.