Alex Katz at the Met

October 9, 2015–June 26, 2016

Alex Katz is having a year.   The prolific artist had gallery shows in London and New York as well two museum shows: Alex Katz: This is Now at the High in Atlanta and Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950’s at Colby College Museum of Art, in Maine where the artist has a summer studio.  A third exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened October 9th – June 26th, 2016,  was organized from donations to to the museum from Glenn Fuhrman, Leonard A. Lauder, and Katz himself.  This intimate exhibition of eight works covers key points in Katz’s career including two cutouts from the 1950’s, a ominous cityscape, and several portraits of Katz’s wife and his circle.  The show looks splendid in one of the finest nooks in the museum, the south facing Gallery 918.

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A quintessential New York artist, Alex Katz was born in Brooklyn in 1928, graduated from Cooper Union and developed his unique style in the shadow of New York School, abstract expressionists like Pollack, De Kooning and Rothko.  Katz’s simplified approach to portraiture is deceptively beautiful and imaginative.  His work invades space and makes an immediate impression through scale, planes of color and impeccably quirky composition.  Katz has reached a highly refined aesthetic that is instantly recognizable but never dull. In a world filled with cacophony sometimes it is pleasing to have some clarity.

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And one last image from the Whitney Museum’s exhibition “America is Hard To See” where Katz’s “Red Smile” 1963 was paired with Warhol’s “Before and After, 4” 1962.2015.8.Whitney.Katz