A Couple of Ways of Doing Something: new FMoPA exhibit opens

Published on: January 30, 2013

fmopa_logo-web600The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA) has announced its upcoming exhibition: A Couple Ways of Doing Something: Photography by Chuck Close, Poetry by Bob Holman. The exhibition will be on display from Thursday, Jan. 31 through Sunday, March 31.

The opening reception for the exhibition is Thursday, Jan. 31 from 6 to  8 p.m. A lecture by Deli Sacilotto is scheduled on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m. Sacilotto is the former Director of Research at USF Graphicstudio and an expert on the printmaking process. He has worked with Close on the production of some of his works. Guests and members can take a guided tour of the exhibition at 1 p.m. on Feb. 3, preceding Sacilotto’s lecture. Bob Holman will also be visiting the Museum for a special poetry reading and book signing on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Born in 1940 to a working-class family in Monroe, Washington, Close has managed from childhood to outmaneuver a long list of disabilities: dyslexia, bad eyesight, a myriad of neuromuscular problems and prosopagnosia — a condition making it difficult for him to recognize faces. Also, since 1988, he has been a quadriplegic. But don’t call him disabled. Chuck Close is one of the most enabled and acclaimed artists active today.

“I wanted to translate from one flat surface to another. In fact, my learning disabilities controlled a lot of things. I don’t recognize faces, so I’m sure it’s what drove me to portraits in the first place,” he said. His paintings, prints and even his tapestries start with photographic images, often Polaroids that he does not take himself. Close works from a grid, dividing up his canvas, his plate or his paper into bits that he fills in separately using all sorts of “tools” including paints, airbrush, razor blades, erasers, liquid paper and even his fingers.

His working methods were well established in 1988, when he became almost completely paralyzed due to a collapsed anterior spinal artery. Working from a wheelchair with his arm and hand propped up with braces, he continues to be able to attack his grids. Today, with museum shows around the globe, Close has a secure place in the canon of contemporary art.

The exhibit is sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors and Charles Schwab.