new-york

Alex Katz, Ulla, 2010, oil on linen, 80 x 84".

Alex Katz

Gavin Brown's enterprise | 620 Greenwich Street

Alex Katz, Ulla, 2010, oil on linen, 80 x 84".

In considering Alex Katz’s exhibition at Gavin Brown’s enterprise, one might almost be forgiven for ignoring the paintings actually on view; it’s hard to concentrate on the work, strong as it is, amid the chatter about its new location and the details of the artist’s decampment from Pace. In Katz’s very public retellings, Brown emerges as a well-intentioned enthusiast: To the artist’s approval, Brown claims that Katz’s art lies in picturing “the immediacy of light,” which plays against figures and landscapes that, in this reading, serve as pretexts for the articulation of form. Indeed, the octogenarian artist’s presence arguably represents not only an apotheosis of the stable’s ethos (from the unremitting intimacy of Elizabeth Peyton to the weirdly affecting suspension of time in Peter Doig, or even, quite differently, the sociability posited by Rirkrit Tiravanija), but arguably

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