Submitted by Holly R. Saltrelli

November 30, 2007
Contact: Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations

413/542-8417

** Editor’s Note: The December 9 event at the Mead has been canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. ** 

AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum is now showing “Chuck Close Self-Portrait/Scribble/Etching Portfolio, 2000,” a presentation of more than 35 self-portrait prints made by the celebrated American artist Chuck Close over the past three decades. The exhibition, organized in conjunction with the Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University and the Colby College Museum of Art, is accompanied by a full-color catalogue featuring a new interview with the artist and an essay that sheds fresh light on Close’s creative process and methods of work.

The exhibition’s curator, Anne Monahan, will lead a public gallery talk at the Mead on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 4:30 p.m., which will be followed by a reception. One of the lenders to the exhibition, Paul J. Schupf, will discuss his experiences as a collector of Close’s prints with Mead director Elizabeth Barker on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m. All are welcome to attend this public conversation at the museum, which will also be followed by a reception. Additional events related to the exhibition, to take place in the spring 2008 semester, will be announced in the new year.

Chuck Close, who once lived in the Pioneer Valley (he taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1965 to 1967), has been making self-portraits since the late 1960s. He bases these efforts on photographs that he takes of himself and then methodically, laboriously, repeatedly—and always inventively—translates into other media: paintings, drawings, textiles and prints.

Close’s investment in such processes forms the subject of his “Self-Portrait/Scribble/Etching Portfolio” of 2000, a set of prints made to illustrate the steps required to produce a single 12-color etching. As Close described his intentions for the project: “The best thing is if you can pull a rabbit out of a hat, and then stop and show somebody how you pull a rabbit out of a hat.” This exhibition explores the technique and subject of the 2000 portfolio, using it as a lens through which to examine the intersections and parallels that structure Close’s artistic ideas.

“Chuck Close Self-Portrait/Scribble/Etching Portfolio, 2000” has been made possible at the Mead Art Museum with generous support from the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund.

The Mead Art Museum is free, fully accessible and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday until 9 p.m. To learn more, visit www.amherst.edu/mead or call 413/542-2335.

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