Photos by Coco Dolle
Text from the Guggenheim Museum
“Gathering” Alex Katz curated by Katherine Brinson
Until February 20, 2023
Across eight decades of intense artistic production, Brooklyn-born Alex Katz (1927) has sought to capture visual experience in the present tense. “Eternity exists in minutes of absolute awareness,” Katz stated in 1961. “Painting, when successful, seems to be a synthetic reflection of this condition.” Whether evoking a glancing exchange between friends of a shaft of light filtered through trees, he has explored the capacity of the medium to distill what he terms “quick things passing.”
Katz established himself as an artist in mid-century New York, at a time when the emotive abstract canvases of painters such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko had placed the city at the center of the avant-garde. Katz, however, rejected the introspection of Abstract Expressionism in favor of rendering the perceptual encounters with people and places that structure daily life. Working within the traditional contemporary approach to figuration that merged the experimental energy of abstract painting with an American vernacular shaped by Hollywood movies, billboard ads, and fashion magazines.
This retrospective is a gathering of sorts, not only of a body of work produced over the course of a long and still highly active career, but also of the family members, friends, and collaborators who have served as the artist’s subjects and creative community.
Coco Dolle is a French-American artist, writer, and independent curator based in New York since the late 90s. Former dancer and fashion muse for acclaimed artists including Alex Katz, her performances appeared in Vogue and The NY Times. Over the past decade, she has organized numerous exhibitions acclaimed in high-end publications including Forbes, ArtNet, VICE, and W Magazine. She is a contributing writer for L’Officiel Art and Whitehot Magazine. As an artist, her work focuses on body politics and feminist issues as seen at the Oregon Contemporary (OR) and Mary Ryan Gallery (NYC).
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