Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress (1997)

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The story of Chuck Close belongs to both the rarefied world of art and to the annals of human triumph over adversity. Originally drawn to painting as a means of dealing with a childhood learning disability, Close began his career by creating massive black-and-white portraits, astonishingly detailed and sometimes brutally realistic. Having caught the attention of critics and the public, he went on to experiment with different artistic influences -- Impressionism, computer-generated imagery, cubism, mosaic -- while staying true to certain self-imposed rules for his portraiture. In 1988, when the 48-year-old Close's spinal artery collapsed and left him paralyzed from the neck down, he feared he would never paint again. After a difficult fight to regain movement, however, Close has succeeded not only in painting again, but in continuing to grow as an artist and in receiving critical raves for his work. Director Marion Cajori's compelling documentary explores Close's inspiring life story while showcasing his vibrant and thought-provoking portraits. Featuring appearances by contemporary New York artists Leslie Close, Philip Glass, Mark Greenwold, Alex Katz, Dorothea Rockburne, and Kiki Smith.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Musical & Performing Arts, Special Interest
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 16, 2003
Runtime:
Art Kaleidoscope Foundation

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Critic Reviews for Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (5)

[Director Marion] Cajori's inventive, endlessly fascinating two-hour take draws freely from those prior studies, and from footage featuring Close and his contemporaries.

Full Review… | January 3, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

Although the painting montages become somewhat burdensome in their repetition, and an epilogue feels academic in every sense, when Cajori finally pulls away from the finished portrait, the sense of a job done to brimming satisfaction is acutely twofold.

Full Review… | January 2, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

The result is a portrait that should interest art-savvy viewers and neophytes alike.

Full Review… | January 2, 2008
New York Post
Top Critic

Chuck Close, about the painter, photographer and printmaker by the documentary filmmaker Marion Cajori, truly excels in its depiction of the physical process of making art.

Full Review… | January 2, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

Late director Marion Cajori's documentary takes good advantage of intimate access to the iconic artist in an effort to chronicle the fascinating methodology behind his work.

Full Review… | December 17, 2007
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Through a series of vignettes, interviews with Close's friends and family, the filmmaker reveals the soul of the portraitist.

Full Review… | December 31, 2007
Film Journal International

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