Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis




Art History

First Advisor

Bradford R. Collins


All through his school years, Chuck Close struggled to make passing grades. Finding reading and comprehension an almost impossible task, it was his art that helped him finish high school with extra credit assignments. Later in life, Close realized that his struggles could be given a name--dyslexia.

Neurological research has proven that the dyslexic brain operates fundamentally differently from the non-dyslexic brain, mainly in that it uses the right-hemisphere for tasks normally centered in the left-hemisphere. Because a dyslexic brain requires more activity in the right hemisphere of the brain, the creative side, dyslexics are more apt to be creative thinkers, such as artists. Therefore, Chuck Close, with his brain predisposed to creative thinking, was not only born to be an artist, but also designed to create the art that he does.

Naturally at disadvantage in more than one area in his life, Close has always found a way to cope and compensate for problems with creative solutions. This thesis first explores the means by which the artist used art as a coping mechanism for his learning disability. Through this art that originally helped him function, he stretched creative boundaries in all fields of two-dimensional art, while often combining the abstract and realistic poles of the artistic spectrum. This thesis specifically explores Chuck Closes roles in such movements as Photo-Realism as well as Process Art.