Sunday, February 7, 2010

Alex Katz: Southampton

The Parrish Art Museum in Southampton is having an Alex Katz show that is definitely worth seeing. The show takes viewers through the artist's creative process-- from loose sketch to finished drawing, to lithograph, to large scale canvas. Interestingly enough, some of the sketches are more appealing than the billboard-sized paintings. The immediacy of brush stroke and color gives them a looseness that is often missing from the larger works. A perfect example is Katz's large scale picnic table. The oil studies are juicy and vibrant, whereas the large scale image is almost too perfect and flat. The one image which blew me away, an homage to Monet's Water Lilies, was both large in scale and loose in style and showed masterful complexity in line, color, and content. The shortcoming of the show? That I couldn't get a postcard nor a book to take home as a souvenir.

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