Ada, Alice, Laura, Rachel or Nathalie: only titled with first names, portraits like these are among the best-known subjects of Alex Katz, who has captured various models – especially from his private environment – in an unmistakable painting style.
Influenced by advertising, fashion, film or music, his work is neither classified as Pop Art nor Minimalism. Rather, Katz’s stencil-like depictions, which created a counterweight to abstract expressionism in New York in the 1950s, reveal an artistic approach all of his own. Oscillating between abstraction and figuration, his unique visual language shows an interplay of distinct lines, surfaces, and colors. Typical is the excerpt-like character of his motifs, which – detached from their context – evoke new meanings and associations.
All the more fascinating is Katz's even portrait of "Nathalie": with her right eye she seems to be looking directly at the viewer, while the other eye is covered by a strand of hair, emphasizing the enigmatic aura of cool beauty. What do you think of when you look at the painting?