B. 1940 Before moving to New York in 1967, Chuck Close attended the University of Washington (BA, 1962), Yale University (BFA, 1963; MFA, 1964), and received a Fulbright Grant to study in Vienna. Although his early work was mainly influenced by de Kooning and Gorky, it changed drastically as he began to explore portraiture using his family, friends and himself as subject matter. In 1966, Close started using photos he had taken to create large-scale black-and-white airbrush paintings. Then, with the advancement of color printing, he began experimenting with the 3-color process. Subsequently he airbrushed dot drawings that utilized the grid pattern, followed by finger-print drawings, pulp-paper collages and most recently thousands of circular shapes that come together to form recognizable portraits. Starting with his first print in 1972, Close has been able to mimic the visual techniques used in his paintings and drawings in his prints by utilizing the vast array of printing techniques offered by studios around the country.
Close has had countless solo exhibitions at museums around the globe including the Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Archives of American Art, The Butler Institute of American Art, Walker Arts Center, Centre Georges Pompidou and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. He received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1973, the Skowhegan Medal for Painting in 1991 and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Bill Clinton in 2000.