The Monterey Museum of Art-La Mirada showcases one of America's most famous contemporary artists, Chuck Close, with it's newest exhibit.

"Chuck Close: Works on Paper, 1975-2012" opens with a preview celebration at 6p.m. Friday at the museum. Tickets are $100. The exhibit was taken from the collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his family foundation.

Schnitzer will be on hand for Friday's reception and an in-depth discussion at 10a.m. Saturday, also at the museum.

Close is best known for portraits of faces painted with thousands of airbrush bursts, thumbprints and looping multi-color brush strokes.

The exhibit includes more than 70 paintings, wood cuts, linoleum cuts, etchings, handmade pressed paper-pulp and etchings.

"The artist describes his work as being confrontational. It confronts you," said museum executive director E. Michael Whittington. "It's realistic when you see it from a large distance away, then it become increasingly abstract the closer you get. You learn more about one human being's face than you ever thought possible."

Whittington said the exhibit is a chance for Central Coast audiences to see "this very important work that's never been presented in our region before."

Whittington said Close uses photography as a means to an end, as part of his process. Close's large-scale works, the biggest measuring 80 inches by 60 inches in this exhibit, displays a photo-realistic quality.

But the work is still produced as a painting, print or tapestry.


"That's a radical departure from what we know on the Central Coast," said Whittington. "It will be very instructive to our visitors."

Marc Cabrera can be reached at GO!

·What: "Chuck Close: Works on Paper, 1975-2012" exhibit opening
·Where: Monterey Museum of Art-La Mirada, 720 Via Mirada, Monterey
·When: Opening reception at 6p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. Discussion with collector Jordan D. Schnitzer at 10a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Exhibit runs through Feb. 17.
·Tickets: Reception is $100. Discussion is $15 general, $10 museum members.
·Information: 372-5477,