Chuck Close: Up Close

by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

As a child, Chuck Close struggled in school. Learning disabilities that would not... read more

As a child, Chuck Close struggled in school. Learning disabilities that would not be diagnosed until he was an adult made academic work a difficult challenge. But he loved to draw and paint, and it was through art that he found solace and self-confidence. As an adult, Close's artwork has brought him him great critical acclaim, and in this fascinating profile of the artist Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan examine his development as an artist and as an individual, looking at the way his life and art relate to and inform one another. The authors approach the text as a means to understanding the artist's work and their highly appealing narrative is enhanced by Close's own insights into his artistic development. This open, airy volume will draw readers in visually as well. The text is surrounded by ample white space and illuminated by color reproductions of a number of Close's paintings, from his earlier, hyperrealistic work to his more recent portraits that emerge from intriguing compilations of color and shape. Photographs of Close at work bring a sense of scale to the artwork--he is a figure overwhelmed by the size of the art he creates. Observant readers will also discover in the photographs something that isn't revealed until quite late in the chronological narrative--today Close works from a wheelchair. In 1988 a rare illness left him almost completely paralyzed. Close eventually regained very limited use of is arms and legs and he now paints with a brush strapped to his arm, continuing to express his unique artistic vision. (Ages 10-14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1998

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