Chuck CLOSE, Keith/mezzotint (fragment L) Enlarge 1 /1


United States of America born 1940

Keith/mezzotint (fragment L) 1972 Place made: United States of America
Materials & Technique: prints, Intaglio mezzotint Support: medium weight white Arches BFK Rives paper
Impression: trial proof
Place Published: New York
Date Published: 1972

Edition Notes: Printed at Crown Point Press by BROWN Kathan and GREENBERG Ron. This mezzotint fragment, pencilled with the letter 'L', is one of 10 fragments marked from A through to L (the letters 'B' and 'F' are absent). These 10 fragments are part of a series of 20 progressive trial proofs of various sizes printed at Crown Point Press for Chuck Close's editioned mezzotint 'Keith'. All belong to a portfolio containing one cover page describing the mezzotint technique, all 20 proofs and one copper plate. The plate, progressive proofs and editioned set are in our permanent collection, as is an unbound illustrated book that documents the project.
Primary Insc: not signed
Tertiary Insc: verso: inscribed lower left, in pencil '72.783' verso: inscribed centre, in pencil 'L'
Dimensions: image and sheet 39.4 h x 39.4 w cm framed 74.2 h x 54.7 w cm
Cat Raisonné: The Butler Institute of American Art, 'Chuck Close Editions: a catalogue raisonne and exhibition', Youngstown Ohio, 1989
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1976
Accession No: NGA 76.82.12
Subject: Art style: Photo-realism
Image rights: © Chuck Close

When it comes to portraiture, the contemporary practitioner of photorealism par excellence is undoubtedly Chuck Close. As is clear from this image, reality for close is the photograph. So we see the tiny photographic distortions, the shallowness of focus, the reflection of the photographer’s lights, the blurred edges, all in their hyper-real, hyper-enlarged painted or printed glory. Keith (L) is one of the stage proofs from the portfolio The Chuck Close mezzotint “Keith” 1972 which was produced by Kathan Brown at Crown Point Press in Oakland California. At the time it was one of the biggest mezzotints ever printed, measuring 113.0 x 89.5 cms in its final state.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra