Close scrutiny

“Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration,” organized by Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston. Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR. Through Jan. 26. The show is on an eleven-stop tour. The final stop will be at Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine. February-April 2008. “Chuck Close: Recent Prints,” Augen Gallery, Portland, OR. Through Oct. 25.

To kick off the mini Close-fest taking place in Portland this season, Close chatted with The Oregonian’s D.K. Row about the prints, the process, and what it means to be Close. “I’ve stuck with the head. I’m surprised that I still find it engaging and that it has urgency to me after all these years. It’s because I love recycling, and I also love recycling an idea or image through other mediums. That’s more interesting to me than making an entirely new something. Secondly, I care more about heads of people than rocks, bottles or fruit. I’m glad that Morandi (the Italian still-life painter) exists. Phil Glass (the composer and friend of Close’s) said that he was to me what haystacks were to Monet — subject matter upon which to make variations. Monet made haystacks in all of those different colors.” Read more.

And don’t miss Close’s snarky interview with Shira Levine in New York Magazine. “I don’t work with inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.”Read more.

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