Malibu, CA – The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University is pleased to announce an important exhibition, Chuck Close: Face Forward – from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation, which will be on view January 17 through April 5, 2015. There will be a public opening reception on Saturday, January 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. Collector Jordan Schnitzer will present a special lecture in the museum, discussing his long involvement with the artist’s work, during the opening reception on Saturday, January 17, 6:30-7 p.m.
Chuck Close, one of the most influential artists of our time, earned his reputation by continuously reinventing portraiture. He developed his signature style in the late 1960s when he painted his first self-portrait enlarged to a monumental scale. Since then, he has explored various methods and techniques for depicting the human face. Never content to remain within a predictable style or technique, he has always rethought the nature of representation by devising bold new ways of rendering his subjects.
His zeal for experimentation led him to make his first print in 1972. Since that time, he has rigorously explored a full array of different printmaking mediums. Prints have become a key part of his creative process. Close once said: “Virtually everything that has happened in my unique work can be traced back to the prints.” This exhibition features over 70 prints offering a rich survey of his involvement with printmaking, ranging from traditional techniques (etchings, engravings, woodcuts, and lithographs) to more unusual materials (tapestry and handmade paper pulp).
“It gives me great pleasure to bring this exhibition of portraits by Chuck Close to Southern California,” said Michael Zakian, director of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art. “The artist’s obsession with the human face touches upon our very humanity and captures a key element of Los Angeles culture. I would like to compliment Portland collector Jordan Schnitzer for his tireless commitment to the visual arts and for his willingness to generously share his art with our city.”
Close typically begins with a gridded photograph of a person he knows intimately. This exhibition features works depicting close friends such as the contemporary composer Phillip Glass, family members, and fellow artists such as Alex Katz, John Chamberlain, and Lucas Samaras, as well as his ubiquitous self-portraits. He renders his subjects using a variety of approaches that range from precise photorealism to free-form expressionism. His desire to push his medium to its limits results in boldly dynamic and unforgettable images that make Chuck Close one of America’s most important living artists.
Collector Jordan D. Schnitzer said: “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. His portraits within portraits are a mirror of not only his subjects, but of all of us.”
Born in the state of Washington in 1940, Chuck Close struggled with dyslexia as a child and found solace in making art. Despite his learning disabilities, he graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1962 and from the Yale University School of Art and Architecture in 1964. In 1968 he abandoned his abstract work and made his first photorealist self-portrait, setting a new direction for his career. He suffered a personal setback in 1988, when a collapsed spinal artery left him paralyzed at the age of 48. After months of therapy, he regained the ability to paint and remains passionately committed to his craft. The artist has often said that art saved his life twice: the first time as a child, the second as an adult.
Portland collector Jordan D. Schnitzer purchased his first work of art when he was fourteen years old, the first step in his lifelong commitment to being an art patron. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, his collection exceeds 8,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. He generously lends work to other institutions and has organized over ninety exhibitions at more than sixty museums.
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM: Special Lecture by Collector Jordan D. Schnitzer
Collector Jordan Schnitzer will give a special lecture on Saturday, January 17, 6:30-7 p.m. He will discuss the art of Chuck Close in depth and will share his special insights into the work, gained from decades of studying and collecting this fascinating artist. The lecture will be held in the Weisman Museum and is open to the public.
About the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art
The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University was founded in 1992. It showcases historical and contemporary art by nationally recognized artists, but focuses on the art of California. Past exhibitions have included Rodin’s Obsession: The Gates of Hell (2001), Claes Oldenburg: Drawings (2004), Chihuly Los Angeles (2005), Jim Dine: Some Drawings (2007), Roy Lichtenstein: In Process (2011), Illustrating Modern Life: The Golden Age of American Illustration from the Kelly Collection (2013), and Wayne Thiebaud: Works on Paper (2014).
Located on Pepperdine’s main campus at 24255 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, CA, the museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and is closed on Mondays and major holidays. There is no admission charge.
For more information, call (310) 506-4851 or visit: http://arts.pepperdine.edu/museum
Exhibition: January 17 – April 5, 2015
Reception: Saturday, January 17, 6-8 p.m.
Lecture by Collector Jordan Schnitzer: Saturday, January 17, 6:30-7 p.m.
Family Art Day: Saturday, March 7, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.