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Agnes Martin has a resting facial expression that can break your heart.

You can just see all of the pain and emotion that has dictated the course of her life and Chuck Close brings this out of her using the grids that were so prevalent in her own work. Whatta pair, these two. It’s bananas how much emotion Close can convey in a face but it makes sense that he would want to because he suffers from prosopagnosia aka face blindness. And not the kind of face blindness that the cool kids in high school seem to have… this is deeper than adolescent douchery. Close explains, “I was not conscious of making a decision to paint portraits because I have difficulty recognizing faces. That occurred to me twenty years after the fact when I looked at why I was still painting portraits, why that still had urgency for me. I began to realize that it has sustained me for so long because I have difficulty in recognizing faces.” Ironically, Close is an incredibly social person

Agnes, Zen master, on the other hand was the Boo Radley of the art world keeping mostly to herself throughout her entire career. She has stated that, “The way to discover the truth about this life is to discover yourself,” which she did in New Mexico, miles away from the flashiness of New York Abstract Expressionism. It’s a wonder how Close even got close (hehe) enough to create this portrait of her.


Comments (2)


This is such an intriguing portrait. This abstract art is awesome!


cool portrait of a great artist