MAR - Museum of Art of the city of Ravenna verified

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The show

The MAR - Museum of Art of the City of Ravenna, as part of the 6th 2019 edition of the Biennial of Contemporary Mosaic, thanks to the contribution of the Fondazione del Monte of Bologna and Ravenna and Edison, presents the exhibition of the internationally renowned American artist , Chuck Close.

Rising to the forefront of the art scene between the late 1960s and early 1970s, with self-portraits and portraits, paintings on a monumental scale from the repetition of photographic shots, Chuck Close has explored over time a wide range of painting techniques, graphics and photographic, textile and, in recent years, mosaics, innovating the international artistic panorama with original and high-impact linguistic and formal solutions.
The works of Chuck Close testify to a tireless search for the possibilities of construction, reconstruction and visualization of the human face, inextricably linked to the neuropsychological condition of the artist. Suffering from prosopagnosia - a cognitive disorder that does not allow people to be recognized by means of their physiognomic characteristics alone - Close has been able to transform a disadvantage into the triggering of an artistic path that leads to a reflection on relationships between people. Starting from the two-dimensionality of photography, which proved to be a significant aid for the recognition of people, Chuck Close has developed an artistic practice with which to investigate the infinite ways of representing the same subject, from photographic realism to the limits of abstraction. It is an emblematic research, that of Close, which proves to be of stringent relevance today, in a society accustomed to communicating faces by means of selfies and their automatic recognition, thanks to the latest technologies and allowed by the applications of artificial intelligence and of computer vision.
In his continuous exploration of techniques and media, Chuck Close comes to the mosaic following his involvement in the art project for the New York Subway. In fact, since 1985 the public art program coordinated by the Arts & Design department of the Metropolitan Transport Authority has been dealing with the installation of permanent works of art in the underground passages and stations of the city network. Since 2017 the twelve works of the Subway Portraits series, portraits of important figures of art, music and culture including Cecily Brown, Philip Glass, Zhang Huan, Alex Katz, Lou Reed, Cindy Sherman and Kara Walker, are admired by those who transits into New York City's Second Avenue-86th Street Station.

The exhibition organized by the MAR - Museum of Art of the City of Ravenna is divided into two sections. The first is dedicated to the latest series of mosaic works, created over the last year in collaboration with Mosaika Art and Design of Montréal (Canada) and Magnolia Editions of Oakland (California). The exhibition itinerary features seven large-scale mosaic works, including two self-portraits and portraits of the well-known musician, songwriter and poet Lou Reed and fellow artists and friends such as Lucas Samaras and Lorna Simpson. The peculiarity of the works on display is to re-propose in the typical materials of the mosaic, such as enamels, glass and colored ceramics, that wide range of technical and linguistic experiments that is the artist's stylistic signature.

To accompany the mosaics, and in a coherent relationship with their manufacturing processes, the first part of the exhibition displays a selection of works that well represent Chuck Close's interest in other extra-pictorial techniques. Examples are polaroid photographs, in color and black and white, tapestries worked on a jacquard loom, a hand-woven silk carpet, a precious pochoir print in 165 colors and an evocative self-portrait obtained with oil paint distributed by hand for by means of felt molds.

Works on display

Timetable and tickets


via di Roma, 13
48121 Ravenna


More on the program

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Until 08 January 2023

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