Alex Katz, Black Brook 18, 2014, oil on linen, 96 × 120".

Alex Katz

Gavin Brown's Enterprise | Downtown

Alex Katz, Black Brook 18, 2014, oil on linen, 96 × 120".

Alex Katz’s glorious exhibition at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise this past spring reminded us why we should just surrender to enjoying the compact range of this artist’s long view. The paintings that were on display, all but one from 2013 or 2014, offer a bourgeois dream of a year in the country: a glowing cabin on the lake, a barn in winter, a house at the edge of a field in summer. (Giving these pastoral scenes an uncanny afterlife, the gallery brought live horses to the same space for its next show, restaging Jannis Kounellis’s Untitled [12 Horses], 1969—a tremendous last hurrah before GBE’s move uptown to Harlem.) These are uninhabited sets in which, just out of the frame, you imagine a golden retriever frolicking with the broad-mouthed, perfectly pressed figures of Katz’s best-known portraits. (Just up the road, one can see his Red Smile, 1963, presiding over the Pop galleries

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