Alex Katz: Small paintings and drawings 1990-2016, 27 Sep 2016 — 14 Jan 2017

Alex Katz: Small paintings and drawings 1990-2016

Monica De Cardenas, Via Francesco Viganò 4, 20124, Milan, Italy

After his large shows this year at the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Serpentine Gallery in London, Monica De Cardenas Gallery announces an exhibition of small paintings and drawings by Alex Katz.

The exhibition will present the more intimate side of the great painterʼs work. His small paintings are made directly in front of the live model or en plein air, their brush strokes are more gestural and impulsive. They are not only preparatory studies showing a monumental plan at its birth, but also autonomous works revealing the initial and spontaneous passion of the artist for his subject. Katz’s ability in rendering the fragile unity of a moment with a few brush strokes, reveals much of the person portrayed and of the artist’s personal reflections, voluntarily abandoned in the large portraits on canvas which show a more stylized and essential vision. This characteristic is enhanced by the small size which draws the viewer to approach closely and enter the space of the painting, thereby establishing a more intimate physical and mental relationship with the work. Also the drawings offer insight into the artist’s process as often the original idea for a painting is illustrated here in its nascent state. Katz draws quickly in charcoal and pencil searching for the right expression, but in fact often his drawings are almost as accomplished as a painting, they are like paintings in black and white.

Alex Katz was born in New York in 1927 as the son of Russian – Jewish immigrants and studied painting at the Cooper Union School of Art from 1946 to 1949. Since the 1960s he has developed a highly innovative realist style unlike any of his contemporaries. Having appeared on the American artistic scene at the end of the ʻ50s, the years of Abstract Expressionism, and being a contemporary of Pop Art and the subsequent artistic movements, Katz surprisingly managed to reconcile the abstract movement with realism in US post war art, in a style that he himself defines as “totally American”. His final images are essential, luminous, direct and sharp, showing very intense colour planes, rendered in a particular bidimensional perspective, free of any sentimental connotation and yet able to communicate a profound emotional involvement.

The work of Alex Katz is widely represented at museum in the USA, including MoMA, the Metropolitan and the Whitney in New York, as well as in European Museums, like Tate Modern in London, the MMK in Frankfurt, the Albertina in Vienna and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

Contacts & Details
Tue – Sat 11am – 7pm
and by appointment
Mon, Sun
T: +39 02 2901 0068

Monica De Cardenas, Via Francesco Viganò 4, 20124, Milan, Italy

My Art Guides Art Spaces’ Dashboard
Update your art space’s profile with all current and upcoming shows and keep yourselves on the map