new-york

Alex Katz

Robert Miller Gallery

To one who’s never been a fan of Alex Katz’s work, this survey of some sixty small paintings, spanning thirty years, came as the proverbial pleasure, hinting at unexpected delights and at an unknown talent for the moving nuance. These oil sketches—mainly small preparatory studies for finished paintings—indicate the “private” side under Katz’s noted “public” image; they have an intimacy, an immediacy, and indeed a variety lacking in his large-scale billboard-style works.

This documentation of the personal aspect of Katz’s endeavor began with work from the early ’50s and continued through the studies of recent years. Within it, members of the artist’s familiar cast of characters, encompassing his wife, his son, and friends, are all set against different countryside retreats. These are quick sketches, but they demonstrate an uncanny ability to compose, to condense, and hence to evoke the core

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