Exploring different modes of representation, Close began in the late 1970s to make explicit use of a grid system or an irregular grid based on a physical relationship to his support. The resulting works read like pixelated mosaics wherein the viewer’s perception blends distinct areas of juxtaposed colour—be it layered shapes of colours, fingerprints, or lines—into a unified image.
In 1988, Close was paralyzed following a rare case of spinal artery collapse. Through rehabilitation, he regained his ability to paint by using a brush-holding device strapped to his wrist and forearm. Beginning in 1991, he continued his examinations of portraiture through productions of silk tapestries and, since 2003, has furthered this investigation, producing editions of large-scale Jacquard tapestry portraits.
Constantly revitalizing his practice by challenging modes of representation, Close’s oeuvre encompasses various forms of painting, printmaking, drawing, collage, daguerreotype and Polaroid photography, and, most recently, tapestries.