Advanced Search
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photography by Steven Watson.

Self Portrait/Pulp

From an edition of 35

Artist: Chuck Close (born 1940)
Date: 2001
57 x 40 in. (144.8 x 101.6 cm)
Framed: 63 in. × 46 1/2 in. × 2 1/2 in.
Medium: Colored pressed handmade paper pulp consisting of eleven various grays
Credit Line: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2009.16
Inscriptions: recto, l.l.: 3/35 recto, l.r.: 2001
Signed: l.c.: Chuck Close
Not on View
Accession Number: 2009.16
In Collection(s)
Provenance(Pace Editions, New York, NY); to Mary Schiller Myers [1922-2008], Akron, OH, March 2004; to Estate of Mary Schiller Myers, 2008; to (Sotheby's, New York, NY), November 12, 2009, lot 146; purchased by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2009
Label TextAfter a seizure left Chuck Close paralyzed, he developed a new technique for making art that utilized pixel-like units to convey photographic detail. To create this image, the artist squeezed paper pulp through a template. Stand close to see the small bits of different colors of gray: when seen from a distance, they combine to form a portrait.

This picture represents Close’s identity as a painter, which he had to fight to maintain in the wake of his medical issues. Reflecting on this process, Close said, “What are the two great fears of a painter? That you’re going to lose your eyesight or that you’re going to lose the use of your hands. What I found out was that I could make art without my hands and that I was lucky, I already knew how to paint. If you already know how to do something, you can figure out some way to get back to it.”