new-york

Alex Katz

Robert Miller Gallery

The bland, unruffled look of high cool that typifies both the people Alex Katz por- Fabian Marcacclo, The Altered Genetics of trays, and the way he paints them, can be read either as a Warholian blankness and emphasis on surface, or as harboring the moodily passive ambiguities and dreamy distances of a Fairfield Porter landscape. At first glance, it might appear that Katz’s free-standing cutouts would weigh in heavily on the surface-and-blankness side of the scale. Such stage-set-like figures seem to argue for a view of personality as facade, and, formally, to work as much against the possibility of pictorial depth as against its psychological counterpart. Yet these paintings (and they are emphatically paintings, even the heads on slender, bronze, person-high bases that recall the sculptures of Alberto Giacometti) are fully imbued with light and space—how much air can hang between an

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