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Art Editorial

chuckclosecindy.jpg Up close and personal

Ushaw in Durham has been making something of a name for itself with its fabulous live music programme, but they’re launching their new contemporary art strand in July with Chuck Close, a real big hitter of US art, who will be exhibiting some extraordinary pieces.

With Chuck Close, it’s all about the face. The US artist found fame in the 1970s with his hyperrealist works - in which he paid incredible attention to the vagaries of the human face - that came built in with their own sense of BAM! His work mutated over the years in which he combined looser, abstract elements, but with his focus still on the face. His first solo show in the north of England will feature six of his dramatic black and white portrait tapestries which will be hung from the historic walls of St Cuthbert’s Chapel at Ushaw. The large, imposing works will include a self-portrait, pictures of other artists (including Cindy Sherman, pictured) and the former US president Barack Obama. Curator, Lucy Jenkins: “It was important to us that we set the bar high with our first exhibition, and we felt that Chuck Close’s tapestries would work perfectly in the space. Tapestries were historically considered works of art but seem to have fallen out of favour with the fine art world in the last century. However, by depicting contemporary icons Chuck gives them a new lease of life and a modern twist, echoing our ambition to help visitors experience this stunning historic space in new ways.”

Chuck Close: Tapestries, 1 July-30 September, St Cuthbert’s Chapel, Ushaw, Durham, Wed-Sat, 1pm-5pm, free. ushaw.org