Alex Katz

January 27 – March 16, 1996
at Peter Blum SoHo

Peter Blum is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by Alex Katz.  Two canvases painted in 1995 are paired with an earlier painting, from 1959 - marking the continuing, and increasing, importance of the landscape in Katz's work.

The centerpiece of the present show is the painting Dawn #3, 1995.  This very large (11'7" x 11') work was in fact painted with the long, deep gallery space at Peter Blum in mind.  The luminous, almost abstract, painting of silhouetted trees seems to emanate light.  The true subject of Dawn #3, a foggy, evocation of the Maine woods is the setting's own peaceful light.  

Coleman Pond #1, a 1995 landscape (7'6" x 5'6") also in the exhibition, is a darker painting. In contrast to Dawn #3, the work deals with the tension of a clear reflective pond and its somber surrounds, suggesting the explosive aspects of light in the landscape.

Katz has continually painted outdoor scenes since his earliest works of the 1950s.  The current exhibition includes one of the most beautiful early examples, Provincetown, an oil from 1959 (24" x 30").

Katz's recent landscapes simultaneously evoke the earlier paintings, emphasizing a continuity of subject and vision, and demonstrate the more "cool" approach, typical of his developed style.  The works from the 1950s and 60s are small, compact and spare while the new paintings are larger in scale, more free and painterly, sometimes coming close to abstraction.

One of the preeminent American painters, Alex Katz has had numerous solo museum exhibitions internationally since 1971.  The most recent, in Baden-Baden, Germany, in fall 1995, was entitled American Landscape. Focusing on the outdoor paintings, Jochen Poetter, organizer of the exhibition summed up Katz's approach in writing that the artist "paints light with genuine mastery.  Time and again he has stressed that light is his primary concern.  Here we can accept his word as gospel.  And it is in this medium that this authenticity is most palpable."

For further information and photographs, please contact Peter Blum or Betsy Archey.  The gallery is located at 99 Wooster Street at Spring Street.  Hours are Tuesday - Friday 10-6, Saturday 11-6 and Monday by appointment.