Chuck Close
Self-Portrait Etching 1977

Artwork details

Chuck Close born 1940
Self-Portrait Etching
Date 1977
Medium Etching on paper
Dimensions Image: 1131 x 902 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1980
Not on display

Catalogue entry


Inscribed ‘C. Close 1977’ bottom right and ‘Self Portrait’ and ‘21/35’
Etching, printed at Crown Point Press, California, published by Pace Editions, New York, 44 1/2×35 1/2 (113.1×90.2)
Purchased from Pace Editions (Grant-in-Aid) 1980
Lit: Michael Shapiro, ‘Changing Variables: Chuck Close and his Prints’, Print Collector's Newsletter, XI no.3, July–August 1978, pp.69–73

Close's method, a predetermined system for transferring the image of a photograph by means of a strict adherence to a coded form for its tonal gradations, is embodied in this print by diagonal lines within small squares. He uses a grid over his source photograph. He worked on the plate in his New York studio for two and a half months before going to Crown Point Press (in Oakland) where it was etched and printed. Having actually scratched the lines through a dark ground Close found he was able to photograph the plate and use the resulting negative to check the image before it was etched. This process lead to the production of a second etching, ‘Self Portrait-White Ink’ 1978, for which the image was transferred onto a new plate and the light areas were etched, producing an image printed in white ink on black paper, the black lines of this print thus appearing as the black of the paper in the second one.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984

About this artwork