Audio Guide Playlist
This audio guide highlights selected works in Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection, with commentary by students from PS 33 Chelsea Prep and Whitney Museum educator Melanie Adsit.
Narrator: In this piece Chuck Close painted a portrait of the artist Lyle Ashton Harris. Look closely and examine the artist’s unusual technique. Close created a diagonal grid in which each diamond shape contains its own tiny, brushy painting. From close up the work seems abstract, as if the artist is concentrating on experiments with different colors and brushstrokes. But take a step back—just watch where you’re going as you do! From further away, all of those small individual abstract paintings join together to make a face.
The artist has purposefully chosen a technique that offers viewers two very different experiences. By giving us such a different view close up versus far away, maybe he is asking us to get to know his painting as well we would get to know a person.
Chuck Close, _Lyle_, 1999. Oil on canvas, 102 1/16 x 84 1/8 x 3 1/16 in. (259.2 x 213.7 x 7.8 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of The American Contemporary Art Foundation, Inc., Leonard A. Lauder, President 2002.220 © Chuck Close
- 603 Duane Hanson, Woman with Dog, 1977
- 604 Chuck Close, Lyle, 1999
- 652 Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Portals, 2016
- 662 Andrea Zittel, A to Z 1993 Living Unit, 1993
- 665 Josh Kline, Cost of Living (Aleyda), 2014
- 666 Urs Fischer, Standing Julian, 2015
- 667 Paul McCarthy, White Snow #3, 2012
- 703 Robert Bechtle, ’61 Pontiac, 1968
- 705 Barkley Hendricks, Steve, 1976
- 713 Charles Demuth, My Egypt, 1927
- 714 Georgia O’Keeffe, Summer Days, 1936
- 752 George Tooker, The Subway, 1950
- 722 Robert Henri, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, 1916
- 731 George Bellows, Dempsey and Firpo, 1924
- 753 Leidy Churchman, Tallest Residential Tower in the Western Hemisphere, 2015
- 762 Charles Henry Alston, The Family, 1955