Left: Chuck Close, Trial Proof for Keith, 1972. Mezzotint. Crown Point Press Archive, Museum purchase, Bequest of Whitney Warren, Jr. in memory of Mrs. Adolph B. Spreckels. 1991.28.98. Right: Chuck Close, Working Proof for Keith, 1972. Mezzotint. Foundation purchase, Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Major Accessions. 2011.1
Chuck Close and Crown Point Press: Prints and Processes
The year 2012 marks a milestone for Crown Point Press, Chuck Close and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The Press, recognized for its importance as a print workshop specializing in etching, celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding by Kathan Brown in 1962. Chuck Close made his first print, the landmark mezzotint Keith, at the press 10 years later in 1972, breaking artistic ground for the photo-realist artist and initiating a long relationship with the Press. The Fine Arts Museums enters its third decade as the recipient of editioned prints from the Press since its 1991 acquisition of the Crown Point archive; there are now more than 1,500 Crown Point Press-published prints in the collection.
This exhibition in the Anderson gallery shows the development of Close’s printmaking style at the Press from a tonal process that was akin to his photorealist tendencies to linear mark-making and exposition of the transfer grid that became the hallmark of his painting in the 1970s.