Ever since Chuck Shut was accused of sexual harassment in 2017, the painter — who died 4 years later — has largely been sidelined by the artwork world, together with his work hardly ever showing in solo museum and gallery reveals.
However his longtime gallerist, Arne Glimcher, has at all times stood by Shut, and now he has organized at Tempo Gallery in Chelsea what he says would be the artist’s first main exhibition in New York since 2016, giving him the send-off and closure Glimcher believes he deserves.
“For over 40 years we have now proven each cycle of Chuck’s work,” Glimcher, the founder and chairman of Tempo, stated in an interview. “It’s a vital exhibition as a result of it’s the synthesis of every little thing he did.
“To finish the arc of all these exhibitions and catalogs is essential,” Glimcher added. “This is likely one of the nice painters of the twentieth and twenty first centuries — his affect remains to be monumental. There was no such factor as portraiture when he broke the entire guidelines and made these nice footage of individuals. It might be felony to not have this final physique of labor within the historical past of his profession.”
Shut, who within the Seventies and ’80s made colossal photorealist portraits of himself and others, died at 81 of cardiopulmonary failure. The artist, who had used a wheelchair since 1988 due to a collapsed spinal artery that originally left him paralyzed from the neck down, in 2013 obtained a analysis of Alzheimer’s illness, which was amended to frontotemporal dementia in 2015.
The allegations in opposition to Shut stem from 2017, when two girls instructed The New York Instances they felt exploited when Shut requested them to mannequin bare for him, and HuffPost revealed related accounts from girls.
Shut denied a number of the allegations, however acknowledged having spoken to girls candidly and even crudely about their physique elements within the pursuits of evaluating them as attainable topics, and he stated he apologized if he had made girls really feel uncomfortable.
“Final time I appeared, discomfort was not a significant offense,” Shut stated in his apology. “I by no means diminished anybody to tears, nobody ever ran out of the place. If I embarrassed anybody or made them really feel uncomfortable, I’m actually sorry, I didn’t imply to. I acknowledge having a unclean mouth, however we’re all adults.”
The allegations prompted a bigger dialogue round whether or not artwork may be separated from the conduct of the artist. Within the wake of the accusations, the Nationwide Gallery of Artwork in Washington determined to indefinitely postpone an exhibition of Shut’s work.
Requested if the Nationwide Gallery would do a Shut present now, its director, Kaywin Feldman, stated: “Shut will at all times be an vital artist in our assortment and we are going to proceed to indicate his work in perpetuity, however as a result of we haven’t talked a few present, I can’t say what we’d do.”
The Nationwide Portrait Gallery adjusted its wall labels to notice the allegations, however stored its Shut portrait of President Invoice Clinton hanging. “On the Portrait Gallery, we attempt to be pretty clear about an individual’s life,” stated Kim Sajet, the director. “However there’s no ethical check to be right here, or no one could be right here in any respect.”
The Tempo present, “Chuck Shut: Crimson, Yellow, and Blue, The Final Work,” which opens Feb. 22 and runs via April 13, will function work, nearly all by no means earlier than seen, from the final 5 years of Shut’s life. Particularly, the exhibition contains work in purple, yellow and blue that Glimcher stated make the physique of labor “extra about coloration than it’s about picture.”
Alongside self-portraits, the exhibition contains portraits of the actors Claire Danes and Brad Pitt and an unfinished work that includes the agent Michael Ovitz. Additionally included might be tapestries and mosaics that Shut made throughout the identical interval.
“This new physique of labor is extra summary, and quieter than any earlier ones,” Shut instructed the artist Cindy Sherman in a 2018 interview. “The brushstrokes don’t make shapes or stand for any explicit info per se, they simply exist as layers of clear washes of oil colours that I’m attempting to deal with as watercolors, as I did a long time in the past.” That interview, initially commissioned by The Brooklyn Rail, might be revealed within the Tempo exhibition’s catalog.
Shut instructed Sherman the work “appears like a brand new starting.”
In an interview, Sherman stated the controversy surrounding Shut is “such a disgrace for him, for his legacy,” on condition that she attributes his conduct to dementia and believes that his work deserves to be seen. “He was massively influential for me as a result of he was doing this in-your-face portraiture of each little wrinkle and pore,” Sherman stated. “He was vital for my growth as an artist.”
Glimcher, who in 2022 opened his personal gallery in TriBeCa, stated he has labored on the present with Shut’s daughters, Georgia and Maggie, who via him declined to be interviewed.
The Shut accusations had an instantaneous influence available on the market, lowering public demand for a as soon as distinguished artist.
However Glimcher stated he has by no means diminished Shut’s costs. “There isn’t any motive to drop his costs, and these work are knockouts,” he stated. He stated costs vary from $1 million to $5 million.
The newest Shut to come back up on the market at a significant public sale home — a 2012 watercolor print, “Sienna,” depicting an artist who was Shut’s spouse from 2013 to 2016 — bought for about $25,000 final October at Christie’s. The excessive for a Shut portray at public sale, $4.8 million, was achieved in 2005 at Sotheby’s.
Shut’s most up-to-date institutional presentation in america was on the Pendleton Heart in Oregon in 2017.
Glimcher stated the controversy surrounding Shut is just not his concern. “There was an excessive amount of about Chuck that isn’t concerning the artwork,” he stated. “I solely wish to speak concerning the artwork.”
Nor does Glimcher see it as his accountability to restore Shut’s picture. “That’s not my job,” Glimcher stated. “Restoring his status is that this exhibition.”