Chuck Close

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I knew of Chuck Close, but until I saw the current exhibition of his work at Sydney’s MCA this week, I had no idea how absolutely amazing his work is, nor of the depth and breadth of his skill as a printmaker. I think I’m doing well when I manage a two-colour woodcut, but that pales to insignificance when compared to his 84-colour or 113-colour woodcuts. Or his 126-colour screenprints. Not to mention the thousand-plus watercolour pigment squares he painted, scanned and manipulated until ready for use. Or that phenomenal mezzotint, Keith. But what impressed me most were his working grids, like the template for the etching of Philip Glass. The editioned etching and the spitbite grid hung side by side, the grid as superb as the finished portrait.