Opening Saturday December 8, 2007 at 6 pm
Exhibition in Zuoz
11 December 2007 – 9 February, 2008
Gallery Hours: Tues – Sat, 3 - 7 pm
Monica De Cardenas is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of Alex Katz in Switzerland. It will be on view in the new gallery in Zuoz near St.Moritz from December 11, 2007 to February 9, 2008. It will feature the two big panorama paintings “Summer Seven” from 1993 and “Dark Green” from 1997, as well as new portraits and drawings. Until now in Switzerland Alex Katz’s work has been seen only in the cult exhibition “Birth of the Cool” curated by Bice Curiger at Kunsthaus Zürich in 1997.
American artist Alex Katz is one of the leading figurative painters of our time. Since the 1960s he has developed a highly innovative realist style unlike any of his contemporaries. His landscapes and figures excel in their simplicity of line, form and colour. His brushwork is light and confident, the compositions subtle and simple, the dimensions majestic. Katz creates powerful images. With his huge canvases, selective palette and two-dimensional surfaces he creates paintings that have both realistic and abstract elements and refuse to allow them selves to be pigeonholed.
Alex Katz creates an essential, intense figuration, which thanks to his attention to mass media, cartoons and photography, is today particularly close to the sensitivity of much younger artists. Having appeared on the American artistic scene at the end of the ‘50s , the years of Abstract Expressionism, and being a contemporary of Pop Art and the subsequent artistic movements, Katz surprisingly managed to reconcile the abstract movement with realism in US post war art, in a style that he himself defines as “totally American”. The images are essential, luminous, direct and sharp, showing intense colour planes, rendered in a particular bidimensional perspective, free of any sentimental connotation and yet able to communicate a profound emotional involvement.
Alex Katz was born in New York in 1927 and studied painting at the Cooper Union. After his first solo show at the Roko Gallery in New York in 1954, he began to work on drawings and collages turning to portraits in 1957 and to large size paintings in 1962 after moving to his new studio in Soho. His first retrospective exhibition was held at the Utah Museum of Fine Art. After that he showed regularly in American museums and galleries. In 1986 the Whitney Museum of American Art showed a large-scale retrospective and in 1997 the PS1 Museum in New York organized the exhibition “Alex Katz Under the Stars: American Landscapes 1951-1995”.
Although he is considered one of the most important American painters, Alex Katz had few exhibitions in Europe until 1995. Europe discovered him in the course of the last ten years. In 1995 the Baden Baden Museum in Germany presented an exhibition entitled “Alex Katz. American Landscapes” and in 1996 the IVAM Museum in Valencia, Spain, organized a retrospective of his works. In 1998 the Saatchi Gallery in London showed “Alex Katz. Twenty-Five Years of Painting”. In 2002 the Kunsthalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn hold a large retrospective, while the Kunsthalle in Hamburg showed his Cut-Outs. In 1999 the Galleria Civica in Trento organised his first personal exhibition in an Italian museum, and in Summer 2003 the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice showed a selection of his portraits from 1959 to the present. In 2005 a selection of the cartoons for his paintings has been shown at the Albertina in Vienna, and in 2007 his work has been exhibited by the Irish Gallery of Modern Art in Dublin.
The artist is widely represented at museum in the United States of America, including The Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan and the Whitney in New York, as well as in some European Museums, like Tate Modern in London and the MMK in Frankfurt.
Alex Katz, Summer Seven, 1993