Adam Katz: Gatherings

It was my first Alex Katz exhibit, also my first trip to the Guggenheim, and a perfect introduction to both.  The exhibit, “Alex Katz: Gatherings” was a retrospective which the Guggenheim curated perfectly, and the spiral path worked so well, as Frank Lloyd Wright intended. I feel so grateful to have caught it in its last week.  A vast collection of his works which are normally spread out from Dallas to Vienna. 

I was more familiar with Katz’s portraiture, which emerged in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  But I was so inspired by his landscape artwork, which was heavily influenced by his summers in Maine, a place that I love as well. His collages were also new to me and were captivating.  Many cut by razors and very small scale, compared to his other works.

Katz portraits, painted in New York, appear to be simplified shapes and forms, but they are very focused on emotion.  At the final piece, which I started with, there was a quote that will stick with me forever. “Now in some of the things I paint, I leave out the thing and just paint the sensation. The now.”