In the two exhibitions of Alex Katz that Luciana Brito Galeria is undertaking in 2014, important aspects of his painting are featured for the first time in Brazil, allowing audiences to experience the traits that rank him among the most important artists of today.
Far beyond conventional interpretations from the perspective of the so called New American Realism, and avoiding overvaluing the procedures dear to Pop Art that he has presaged, his work deserves to be considered, above all, for its technical rigor and high refinement of style: with extreme economy and images that encourage a thoughtful reading, Alex Katz acutely investigates both the nature of pictorial expression and human relations. Amid the atmosphere of elegance and precise attention to lighting, there is always an underlying commentary on such themes as our sensory experience in the world, the poetic potential of the painting, and the performative side of interpersonal relationships.
Despite numerous solo exhibitions and retrospectives at institutions such as the Whitney Museum, Guggenheim Bilbao, Albertina Museum and MoMA PS.1, and being the subject of acclaimed essays by Robert Storr and Hans Belting, Alex Katz has held only one solo exhibition in Brazil to date, in 2010, when the Luciana Brito Galeria showed his works on paper. Now, shortly before the opening of a dedicated room in the Tate Modern collection show, the artist’s power can be revealed more fully to the Brazilian audiences.
About the artist
Born in Brooklyn, New York, 1927, Alex Katz was the son of a merchant and an actress who had a strong penchant for poetry, both born in Russia. In 1946, he entered the Cooper Union Art School. He also studied painting and sculpture at the Skowhegan School. In the early 60s, influenced by cinema, television, and advertising, he started painting in large scale, a procedure he would merge with his interest in classical portraiture. Alex Katz has had over 200 solo shows, participated in nearly 500 collective shows throughout his career, and his works are featured in 100-plus collections, including those of the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Spain); Tate Gallery (UK); Philadelphia Museum of Art; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; Brandhorst Museum, München, Germany; and Albertina Museum, Vienna.
sp-arte: April 3 to 6
galeria: April 8 to May 24