The Tate in London and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. are among the numerous museums throughout the world that have Close?s work in their collections. Both the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art have had retrospectives of his work. Early in 2000 Close was named to the board of trustees at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This is significant since he is the first artist ever to serve on the board. Close was influenced by Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock during his early years of painting. In the 1960s he tired of abstraction and began making photorealistic images of the human face. He took photographs of his friends and family and turned them into enormous portraitures. He did this by employing a labor-intensive grid system where he copied each photograph square by square. Close suffered a spinal artery collapse in 1988 that resulted in his partial paralysis. With his wife?s encouragement and physical therapy he returned to painting and remains one of the most important artists living today. His most recent work reflects his return to his roots in Abstract Expressionism. This does not imply that he has abandoned his rigid grid system that earned him such recognition. He still uses his systematic grid, but combines it with his earlier abstract style.