Like most of Close’s works, this portrait of the painter Alex Katz blurs the boundaries between media. Though made from a complex printing process, its highly realistic appearance resembles photography. Close began the work by carving an image of Katz into a large block of linoleum and printing from it. He then cut away parts of the linoleum (thus making a “reduction” of the printing block) in order to render shadows and highlights. He made additional prints each time he altered the block. Finally, Close transferred the successive images made from the linoleum to seven silk-screens that were printed together to create this final image.
signed and dated LR in graphite, editoined in LL: AP III/XV