Alex Katz’s cool, representational, and reductive style has set him apart as one of the most influential painters working in America today. This exhibition highlights three significant large scale paintings by Katz from 1972, 1990, and 1993.
Blue Umbrella #2, 1972, oil on canvas, 96 x 144 inches (243.8 x 365.8 cm)
Alex Katz’s wife Ada has long been his best known model. In this work, generally considered one of his most important paintings, the subject is alone in a black coat and a colorful scarf, the head and umbrella nearly covering the whole canvas. She is standing in the rain, staring into the distance—stoic and elegant. The rain drops cut across the surface diagonally, creating a pattern evenly dispersed throughout the painting.
Black Brook 11, 1990, oil on linen, 108 x 144 inches (274.3 x 365.8 cm)
A deep dark monochromatic space fills the surface of the painting. A collection of white brushstrokes are painted on the bottom half of the canvas, developing into a powerful motion that represents the rushing water in a small stream.
Gold and Black II, 1993, oil on canvas, 80 x 166 inches (203.2 x 421.6 cm)
In this painting a grouping of trees is silhouetted against a monochromatic field of saturated golden color. Green leaves are minimally dispersed among the bare branches on the top third of the picture plane. The tops and the bottoms of the trees extend past the edges of the canvas leaving the forms free floating and segmented throughout the composition. Both the foreground and background of this work is composed with a series of broad and deliberate gestures—describing the landscape with the most reduced means.
Alex Katz was born in Queens, NY in 1927 and lives and works in New York. Katz graduated in 1949 from the Cooper Union in New York. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and can be found in over 100 public collections worldwide.