For Immediate Release
March 2, 2017
Contact: Roberta Lavadour
Pendleton is a town best known for blankets and a raucous rodeo, but this spring an exhibit of work by an icon of contemporary art adds a new dimension to the Pendleton art scene. Chuck Close: Selections from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation will open at the Pendleton Center for the Arts on Friday, March 10. The exhibit runs through April 29th and admission is free for the public.
Chuck Close (born 1940) is widely regarded at one of the greatest living artists in the world. Since the late 1960s he’s explored a myriad of styles and techniques for depicting the human face, beginning with his own. In addition to painting in his studio, he has worked in collaboration with the best printmaking and papermaking facilities in the United States, often breaking new ground in the creation of works on paper.
“This exhibit is so informative, not just from an artistic point of view, but also a technical one,” states Roberta Lavadour, Director of the Pendleton Center for the Arts. “The technical expertise and collaborative skill is breathtaking. Some of the works in the exhibit feature more than 100 ink colors and many dozens of trips through hand-operated printing presses. Several of the works feature pulp ‘painted’ handmade paper.”
Visitors to the gallery will get a rare view of some of Close’s most notable prints, many rendered in a grid style to break images into a series of small compositions. From a distance the pieces appear almost photorealistic, but up close, the abstract nature of the artwork’s components reveals itself.
The works are on loan from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. “Chuck Close is the master portrait artist of our time. For tens of thousands of years, artists have drawn faces, but no one has taken the art of portraiture to the same level as Chuck Close. He is a brilliant artist,” said Schnitzer. “His portraits are a mirror of not only his subjects, but of all of us.”
Schnitzer’s passion for the work itself is surpassed only by his enthusiasm for sharing the collection with diverse audiences around the country. His connection with Pendleton goes back many years, and he is a regular at the Pendleton Round-Up.
“We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to share this work with people in eastern Oregon,” Lavadour. “This is work that is usually reserved for major museums in urban areas.”
In addition to providing funding for the exhibit, Schnitzer is helping to fund a range of outreach activities to ensure that as many young people see the work as possible. Classes from as far away as Baker City are planning trips to bring students to Pendleton for gallery tours and art projects inspired by Close’s work. With the help of the Education Foundation of Pendleton, every sixth grader in Pendleton will visit as well. The exhibit received additional funding from the Wildhorse Foundation.
The Pendleton Center for the Arts’ regular hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and Saturdays Noon to 4:00 pm. During this exhibit, the gallery will remain open until 6:00 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings to accommodate after-work audiences. Group gallery tours may be scheduled for other days and times by calling 541-278-9201.
For more information visit the Pendleton Center for the Arts online at pendletonarts.org.
About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
At age 14, Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s Portland, Oregon contemporary art gallery, evolving into his lifelong avocation as collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection exceeds 10,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be one of the country’s largest private print collections overall. He generously lends work from his collection to qualified institutions and has organized over 100 exhibitions at more than 100 museums. Mr. Schnitzer is also President of Harsch Investment Properties, a privately owned real estate investment company based in Portland, Oregon, with 24 million square feet of office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family and retail properties in six western states.
For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit www.jordanschnitzer.org.