Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Richmond, VA

804 367-0844



Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Acquires Chuck Close and Other Works


An important wall drawing by eminent American artist Sol LeWitt, an ancient African terra-cotta sculpture, and works by contemporary American artists Elizabeth Murray, Willie Cole and Chuck Close have been acquired by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

"The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is privileged to have privately endowed funds that, because they are restricted for art purchases, allow us to add important works to Virginia's treasure house of original works of art," says Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Director Katharine C. Lee. "Judicious acquisitions add excitement and life to an increasingly renowned collection."

American artist Chuck Close (b. 1940) is known for his monumental images of the faces of his family and friends. The museum's acquisition, titled "John," is a 1998 silkscreen measuring approximately 5 1/2 by 4 1/2 feet. The print is based on the artist's 1992 painting of the same title, which was shown at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 1993. The face is that of artist John Chamberlain, three of whose sculptures are also included in the museum's collection. (left: Chuck Close (b. 1940), John (edition of 80), 1997, 126 color silkscreen, 64 1/2 x 54 1/2 inches, published by Pace Editions, Katherine Wetzel Photo © 1999 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)

Close used multiple screens to apply 126 colors in this work, which is a tour-de-force of printmaking. The final image closely replicates the painting and offers a "powerful representation of Close's late style," John Ravenal, curator of art after 1900 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, says.

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This page was originally published in 1999 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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