Posts Tagged ‘chuck close


Exhibition: ‘Present Tense: An Imagined Grammar of Portraiture in the New Media Age’ at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

Exhibition dates: 22nd May – 22nd August 2010


Many thankx to David Edghill and the National Portrait Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.



Karen Sander. 'Herve Blechy 1:5' 2008


Karen Sander
Herve Blechy 1:5
3D Bodyscans of the living person (3D coordinates and colour texture), MPT (Minitaturised Projection Technology), rapid prototyping, 3D Inkjet printer, plaster material, pigment
Courtesy of the artist, Berlin, and Galerie Nachst St. Stephan, Vienna, and Galerie Helga de Alvear, Madrid.


Osang Gwon. 'Metabo' 2009


Osang Gwon (Korean, b. 1974)
C-prints, mixed media
130.0 x 80.0 x 105.0 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Arario Gallery, Seoul


Robert Lazzarin. 'Skull' 2000


Robert Lazzarini (American, b. 1965)
resin, bone, pigment
35.0 x 8.0 x 20.0 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Deitch Projects



Present Tense: An Imagined Grammar of Portraiture in the New Media Age is the principal exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery’s 2010 exhibition calendar. It will be displayed from 22 May to 22 August 2010. We are entering an exceptional time for portraiture and visual culture in general as the art world embraces the digital age. Traditional portraiture is responding to the application of new technologies and this imaging process is reshaping our interpretation and reading of the face.

Present Tense considers the alliance between portraiture and technology, showing how different ways of imaging in this contemporary, digital world reflect the way an individual is perceived and the various mechanisms of imaging that are used to manipulate that perception. The exhibition is comprised of works by Australian and international artists’ and includes examples of the informal and immediate images made on mobile phones, images recorded with sonograms that reveal faces that cannot be seen by the unaided eye, 2D and 3D portraits generated exclusively from binary code, as well as the more expected streaming digital works and manipulated photographs.

‘Some of the images in Present Tense are confronting and some are positively endearing’, said exhibition Curator Michael Desmond. ‘The exhibition surveys the possibilities of portraiture today, with the premise that the inhabitants’ of our digital society are pictured in a technological mirror’.

The use of digital technologies by artists is increasing, providing affordable alternatives to traditional media and offering a new tool set and the possibility of a new aesthetic. This is not to suggest that older media has been abandoned, or is associated only with conservative practice, rather that artists’ have greater choice in the materials that they use and the style that they wish to engage with. Chuck Close is one of artists’ in the exhibition who ignores the rising tide of digital imaging processes to favour old technology, creating powerful images with the archaic daguerreotype technique. Other artists’ in Present Tense include: Loretta Lux, Patrick Pound, Stelarc, Jonathon Nichols, Petrina Hicks, Ghostpatrol, Patricia Piccinini and more.

‘At one time, oil on canvas or bronze was the medium for portraits. The medium now is technology. In an inversion of one of Modernism’s classic aphorisms, digital technology allows function to follow form; the function of the portrait – to illustrate an individual’s character and physiognomy – is established by the stamp of the technology that created it’, said Michael Desmond.”

Press release from the National Portrait Gallery website [Online] Cited 06/08/2010


Chuck Close. 'Self portrait daguerreotype' 2000


Chuck Close (American, b. 1940)
Self portrait daguerreotype
16.5 x 21.6 cm each
Courtesy of Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York


Patricia Piccinini. 'Psychogeography' 1996


Patricia Piccinini (Australian, b. 1965)
From the series Psycho
type C colour photograph
120.0 x 247.0 cm
Courtesy of the Parliament House Art Collection, Department of Parliamentary Services, Canberra


Stelarc. 'Stretched skin' 2009


Stelarc (Australian, born Cyprus 1946)
Stretched skin
type C photograph
120.0 x 180.0 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Scott Livesey Galleries



National Portrait Gallery
King Edward Terrace
Parkes, Canberra

Opening hours:
Open daily 10 am to 5 pm

National Portrait Gallery website


Back to top


Exhibition: ‘Picturing America: Photorealism in the 1970s’ at Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin

Exhibition dates: 7th March – 10th May 2009


Many thankx to the Deutsche Guggenheim for allowing me to publish the art work in the posting. Please click on the art work for a larger version of the image.


“My paintings are about light, about the way things look in their environment and especially about how things look painted. Form, colour and space are at the whim of reality, their discovery and organisation is the assignment of the realist painter.”

Ralph Goings



Richard Estes. 'Telephone Booths' 1967


Richard Estes
Telephone Booths


Richard Estes. 'Supreme Hardware' 1974


Richard Estes
Supreme Hardware


Audrey Flack. 'Queen' 1976


Audrey Flack


Chuck Close. 'Leslie' 1973


Chuck Close


Ralph Goings. 'Airstream' 1970


Ralph Goings


Ralph Goings. 'Dicks Union General' 1971


Ralph Goings
Dicks Union General



By the end of the 1960s, a number of young artists working in the United States had begun making large-scale realist paintings directly from photographs. With often meticulous detail, they portrayed the objects, places, and people that defined urban and suburban everyday life in America. In contrast to the Pop artists, they did not present their ubiquitous, often mundane, subject matter in a glamorised or ironic manner. They sought instead to achieve a great degree of objectivity and precision in the execution of their work in an effort to stay more or less faithful to the mechanically generated images that served as their source material. They developed various means of systematically translating photographic information onto canvas. In prioritising the way the camera sees over the way the eye sees, they underscored the complexity of the relationship between the reproduction and the reproduced as well as the impact of photography on the perception of both daily life and reality in general.

A number of terms were proposed in quick succession to describe this novel approach to painting, chief among them Super-Realism, Hyperrealism, and Photorealism. The artists identified as Photorealists neither formed a coherent group nor considered themselves to be part of a movement, and a number of them actively challenged their association with the label. Nevertheless, in the late 1960s and 1970s, the seventeen artists in Picturing America: Photorealism in the 1970s – Robert Bechtle, Charles Bell, Tom Blackwell, Chuck Close, Robert Cottingham, Don Eddy, Richard Estes, Audrey Flack, Franz Gertsch, Ralph Goings, Ron Kleemann, Richard McLean, Malcolm Morley, Stephen Posen, John Salt, Ben Schonzeit, and Paul Staiger – were exploring a related set of issues, methods, and subjects that led critics, curators, and art historians to both exhibit and write about their work as a coherent trend in contemporary art. Picturing America focuses on this formative, defining period in the history of Photorealism.

The exhibition includes thirty-one paintings, a number of them the most iconic and masterful works of 1967-82, for example Richard Estes’s Telephone Booths (1967) and Chuck Close’s Leslie (1973). Picturing America is divided into four sections, three exploring key themes of Photorealist painting during the 1970s – Reflections on the City, Culture of Consumption, and American Life – and a fourth dedicated to a portfolio of ten lithographs made on the occasion of Documenta 5 in 1972, which featured the first major group showing of Photorealism.

Text from the Deutsche Guggenheim website


Robert Bechtle. 'Foster's Freeze, Escalon' 1975


Robert Bechtle
Foster’s Freeze, Escalon


Robert Bechtle. 'Alameda Gran Torino' 1974


Robert Bechtle
Alameda Gran Torino



Deutsche Guggenheim

This museum closed in 2013.


Back to top

Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email me at and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Join 2,688 other followers

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email Marcus at and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Follow Art_Blart on Twitter
Art Blart on Pinterest

Recent Posts

Lastest tweets

October 2020