new-york

Alex Katz

Marlborough | Midtown

Within the tradition of realist painting, Alex Katz stands as one of the most refined of artists. I would liken his position to that of Brice Marden in the tradition of abstract painting. Only the absolutely necessary feature of the tradition is preserved, and the elements that once were separable are collapsed into style. I often felt, while looking at Katz’s depicted interiors, that the walls were hung with Mardens (or Nolands), rather than being “blank.”

The injection of people into Katz’s paintings can often appear irrelevant to the main purpose, which is the smooth sailing of style as form and content. Rarely do the portraits reveal anything about the individual sitter. You can hear Katz whispering, “I only care about the formal qualities,” when you pass by paintings where the pictorial “problems” overshadow the general orientation of the sitter. An image of a woman sitting by a window

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