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Chuck Close, Self-Portrait, 2010–2013


Chuck Close, Self-Portrait (working proof
for unpublished print), 2010, color photogravure, National Gallery of Art, Gift of the Artist, 2104, © Chuck Close, Courtesy Pace Gallery

The printers at Crown Point Press produced more than sixty proof impressions of Close’s self-portrait color photogravure. In color photogravure, a process developed in the nineteenth century, photographic images corresponding to the primary printing colors magenta, cyan, and yellow are etched into metal plates. Inked and printed consecutively on one sheet of paper, the three plates yield a full-color image. In the twentieth century a fourth plate, inked in black, was often added to bolster the dark areas. The proof reproduced to the right includes a black plate, but Close was determined to master the process with just three colors. While some consider this print a technical success, it fails to interest Close and remains unpublished.

Banner image: Detail, Chuck Close, John (proof for unpublished print), 1972, color photo-etching on wove paper, Gift of Kathan Brown © Chuck Close, Courtesy Pace Gallery

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