I meant to post this earlier this fall when this show (a collaboration between the SFMOMA and the Walker Art Center) opened in Minneapolis but by the time I got around to it the show was nearly over. Fortunately we all have a second chance now that this amazing retrospective is about to open at the SFMOMA.
This was an important show for the Walker. They were the first museum to purchase a work by Chuck Close (the self portrait from 1967 on the left above). Mr. Close noted in a talk at the opening that they paid $1,500 for it and it took the museum two years to pay (riotous laughter ensued). It was also a celebration, a homecoming of sorts for the long-standing relationship between the artist and the museum, and the inaugural show of the amazing Herzog & de Meuron addition. Mr. Close's Big Self Portrait 1967-68 was a significant influence on me growing up and was always my favorite piece at the Walker. It still is.
Opening at the SFMOMA on November 19th and running until February 28th, the exhibit has more than 80 self-portraits in many different media. Many of them reference the same source photograph that Mr. Close has worked with over and over again, teasing meaning from the lens of experience and time. He is a master of process and technique, and a source of personal and artistic inspiration.
It's worth the trip.