new-york

Alex Katz

Marlborough | Midtown

Because of its breezy subject matter, its cushy use of light, the unobtrusive quality of its facture, Alex Katz’s work has often been characterized as lacking in complexity—safe. It is breeezy, cushy, and unobtrusive, and nothing could be more difficult than what Katz accomplishes: the momentary glance seen before it is gone for good; the dazzle of color hit by light or its depth in shadow; love just this side of becoming something else altogether. For all his couples close enough to touch (Not and Louise, 1995, and Kazem and Ena, 1995) or to converse (Vincent and Vivian, 1995), Katz is enough of a realist to discern the potential for distance and withdrawal, the solitude that exists even between intimates. Although the subject and execution of his paintings can be disarmingly matter-of-fact, simple even, taking his paintings in, observing them is anything but easy. A single tree branch

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