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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I'm A Katz Man

In late 2002, as I was devouring all things woodcut, I read an article in the Buffalo News about an exhibition at the Albright-Knox that featured the work of Alex Katz. I was familiar with his work as a painter of mostly portraits, and was very excited to see his woodcuts.

"Camp", 1990, shown here, stole the show for me. They only needed to hang this one up. As I recall, it was the first print one saw when entering the exhibition hall (and I mean hall; one of the things that drives me nuts is that works on paper are often relegated to this little underground hallway, which is clean and well lit, but I get the feeling that, unless you know to look for it, you'll walk on by).

I guess one might look at this print and sneer at it's minimalism, just a few colors, no detail. But there's a story here.

Or maybe there isn't. For decades people have been reading messages and moods in Edward Hopper's work, but in interviews he has claimed to only have been painting the effects of light and shadow.

This painting by Katz has become very influential to me, which I think you will see soon.

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