Jim Kempner Fine Art is pleased to announce Alex Katz Ladies & Landscapes, an exhibition of prints, sculpture, and paintings by renowned American artist Alex Katz. The exhibition, which focuses on women and natural landscapes, will open Thursday, October 27th and will remain on view through December 4th, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, October 27th from 6-8 pm.
Known for his flattened, smoothly stylized figure painting, Katz developed his pictorial style in the 1950s when Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting were dominating the American art scene. His loyalty to figurative painting and popular culture went against the trends of his contemporaries, refining a style of distinct shapes, shallow depth, bright uniform colors, and reduced expressiveness that preceded the Pop Art movement. Although he is primarily recognized for his portraits, Katz has been painting trees, flowers, and natural landscapes since the 1950s. This exhibition explores the delicate women central to the artist’s oeuvre, in addition to the natural landscapes he has been depicting since his experience with ‘plein air’ painting in Skowhegan, ME in 1949-1950.
Alex Katz began working seriously with print mediums in the 1960s. Among the works in the show is Ariel, a 26 color silkscreen from 2016 that evokes the vitality of a quintessentially American woman. Ariel shows three iterations of the same woman moving across the image frame. The women in Ariel and Brisk Day elicit the intimism that has been distinctive in Katz’s portraiture for the past six decades. Grey Linden #2, a unique oil painting on board, is an example of his more painterly renditions of natural landscapes. It is more gestural than the linear, abstracted portraits. In Chance, a new tabletop sculptural multiple, Katz reconfigured three individual relief portraits from the 1960s to create a playful narrative of three bathers with beach balls. A monumental version of Chance was exhibited in the fountain outside Mayfair’s Connaught Hotel on June 21 to celebrate the Katz exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London.
Alex Katz was born in 1927 in Brooklyn, NY. He studied at the Cooper Union, NY from 1946- 1949 and at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME from 1949- 1950. His works have been the subject of many international solo exhibitions and retrospectives. His work is in numerous private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tokyo; Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Nationalgalerie, Berlin, and Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. His current exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, titled Alex Katz at the MET, displays eight drawings, prints, painting, and cut outs acquired through the generosity of Glenn Fuhrman, Leonard A. Lauder, and Katz himself.