The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, December 28, 2014


Museum of Fine Arts, Boston celebrates Alex Katz’s 60-year career with exhibition
Alex Katz, Dog at Duck Trap, 1975–76. Lithograph. Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna. Photograph © Albertina, Vienna; Peter Ertl. Art © 2011 Alex Katz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
BOSTON, MA.- Alex Katz’s bold portraits and lyrical landscapes are among the most recognizable images of contemporary art. Quintessentially American and characterized by cool detachment, his works spark a dialogue between abstraction and representation. In celebration of the 60-year career of Katz (born 1927), and the promised gift of an archive of the artist’s prints from the 1960s to today, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, will present Alex Katz Prints, on view from April 28 through July 29 in the Ann and Graham Gund Gallery. This retrospective—conceived and drawn from the collection of the Albertina Graphic Collection in Vienna, which received the gift of a major Katz print archive—will showcase approximately 125 works. Included among them will be portraits of Ada, Katz’s wife and longtime muse, family members, and figures from the worlds of art and culture; landscapes of Maine; portfolios; and illustrated books of poetry. In Boston, additional works from the MFA’s collection and promised archive will be included, and a special highlight will be Rush (1971), a series of 37 paintings given by Katz to the MFA in 2011, which will make its Boston debut during the exhibition. Alex Katz Prints will have its only US showing at the MFA.

“New York artist Alex Katz, who has spent his summers in New England since the 1950s, has a longstanding relationship with the MFA,” said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the Museum. “Over many years, he has been exceptionally generous, helping us to build our contemporary collections in exciting and meaningful ways. We are delighted to celebrate his long and distinguished career as a printmaker, as well as his promised gift to the Museum of an archive of his prints with this beautiful exhibition.”

The Boston showing of Alex Katz Prints is curated by Clifford Ackley, Chair, Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, and Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Curator of Prints and Drawings at the MFA, together with Edward Saywell, Chair, Linde Family Wing and Arthur K. Solomon Curator of Modern Art at the MFA. Marietta Mautner Markhof is the curator for the Albertina. The exhibition showcases Katz’s distinctive style as a printmaker through which he distills his subjects down to their essence with an arresting simplicity of line, color, and form. His works are notable for their radical cropping, dramatic close-ups and expressive color, from vibrant hues to subtle greys and bold blacks.  The images are crisp and clean, devoid of non-essentials. Katz’s portraits are iconic and intentionally avoid anecdote and psychological interpretation. Drawing on the language of billboards and films, his works bridge the worlds of art, advertising, and fashion.

The exhibition will begin with a “family room” featuring prints of the artist, his wife Ada, poet and art critic son Vincent, and daughter-in-law Vivien. The centerpiece will be the dramatically cropped image Ada: Orange Hat (1990). For more than five decades, Katz’s wife has been his muse, her elegant visage captured in a variety of poses. Throughout the exhibition, in works such as Blue Umbrella (1979-80), Ada assumes many different guises and costumes, evoking the ever-changing fashions and styles of recent decades. An adjoining space will feature portfolio images of Alex and Ada, including Self-Portrait (Passing) (1990) and the life-size, freestanding silkscreened aluminum cutout Ada (1999). Elsewhere in the exhibition, additional images of Ada will be showcased, including Brisk Day (1990), three identical, sequential portraits of her in a red coat printed in woodblock, aquatint, and silkscreen.

“Alex Katz’s prints are brilliant interpretations of his paintings,” said Clifford Ackley, co-curator of the exhibition. “When distilling the paintings to their very essence, fine tuning of luminous color and precision of tone become vital to these concentrated images that pack a terrific graphic punch.”

A focal point of the exhibition will be Rush (1971), on view in a separate space dedicated to the portrait series. Given to the MFA in 2011, it comprises 37 painted aluminum silhouetted heads, which will be hung side-by-side at eye level like a continuous frieze, suggesting a roomful of people gathered at a cocktail party. Among them are key cultural figures of the 1960s and ’70s, including artists Rudy Burckhardt, Al Held, Brice Marden, and Yvonne Jacquette; writers Ted Berrigan, Thomas Disch, and Larry Fagin; critics Edmund Leites, Robert Rosenblum, and Irving Sandler; and, from the world of dance, Edwin Denby and William Dunas.

“Rush is a remarkable work of art and we are thrilled that it will have its MFA debut within the context of this exhibition,” said Edward Saywell, co-curator of the exhibition. “To be faced—literally—in the round by some of the great cultural figures of the 1970s is a startling experience.”

Throughout the Gund Gallery, visitors will discover a wide range of prints by Katz that capture various facets of everyday life in both city and country. A hallmark of Katz’s work is its evocation of the New York cultural scene with the artist drawing heavily on the worlds of art, dance, and poetry. Of special note is the series Pas de deux (1994), prints of five couples in high-fashion dress, including artists David Salle, Red Grooms, and Francesco Clemente; Face of the Poet (1978), a portfolio of 14 aquatints from shaped plates consisting of portraits and poems by leading poets, such as Ann Lauterbach and Ted Berrigan; and Night: William Dunas Dance 1-4 (1983), a sequence of four lithographs that draws upon Katz’s interest in the world of dance. Even animals will be part of the mix, as seen in the whimsical life-size cutout Cow (2006), or in Dog at Duck Trap (1975–76), an image of the Katzes’ shaggy-haired Skye Terrier, Sunny, looking out at visitors from a Maine landscape.

Among the highlights of Alex Katz Prints are the artist’s evocative landscapes that capture the quiet majesty of Maine, where the Katzes have summered for decades in Lincolnville. The woods, beaches, and ponds of Maine have provided rich subject matter for Katz since he first visited the state in 1949. Many of the works show his keen interest in the effect of changing light and shadow on a particular setting, such as the early Luna Park I (1965) and Twilight I, II, and III (1978). In addition, Katz’s large painting Poplars (2003), a 2009 gift to the MFA from the Alex Katz Foundation, will be on view as one leaves the Gund Gallery





Today's News

April 28, 2012

First major exhibition in Germany focusing on El Greco's paintings opens in Dusseldorf

Director of the E.G. Buehrle foundation says Cezanne damaged in heist can be restored

Christie's to offer a selection of works by an American watercolor master, Stephen Scott Young

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston celebrates Alex Katz’s 60-year career with exhibition

New, large-scale works by Cindy Sherman on view at Metro Pictures in New York

Solo exhibition of work by Jenny Holzer opens at Sprüth Magers in Berlin

El niño azul: Goya and Spanish painting in the Louvre presented as part of DNP Museum Lab project

One of last Louis Armstrong trumpet records now to be released to the public for the first time

Art Institute of Chicago acquires "Harlem U.S.A." photo series by Dawoud Bey

Space shuttle Enterprise arrives in New York City; crowds watch with joy and excitement

Romanian artist Victor Man's "The White Shadow of His Talent" opens at Blum & Poe

Frank Lloyd Gallery exhibits a series of paintings by Craig Kauffman made in 1989

Spring Show NYC to transform Park Avenue Armory into veritable museum of fine paintings

Michael Sailstorfer, winner of Vattenfall Contemporary 2012 Prize, exhibits at Berlinische Galerie

Josef Albers, Mapplethorpes to lead Grogan auction

Lynn Chadwick: The Complete Candelabras 1953-1996 on view at the Willer Gallery

Aimee Chang introduced as BAM/PFA's Director of Engagement

Stik's brilliantly produced new studio work on view at Imitate Modern

Valencian Institute for Modern Art presents an exhibition of works by José Saborit

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site