New York/Nuremberg. Alex Katz has released a new original print with a portrait. Vivien in White Coat is a typical work by Alex Katz. The original graphic goes back to the eponymous painting series “White Coat” which was shown in 2021 in the Gray Gallery in Chicago.
Reduced in formal language, flat colored light blue background and focused on the moment, the brief moment. White Coat features his daughter-in-law Vivien Bittencourt. Katz’s signature simplified portraits capture the essence of Bittencourt, a documentary filmmaker. The series explores a familial relationship that captivates the viewer through the scale of the form on the print. The intimacy expressed in “The White Coat” shows how movement and subtle pigments can express the essence of a person through color. Katz’s mastery of scenic moments, often portrayed through a lens, combined with soft and carefree colors create an indulgent atmosphere.
“Vivien in White Coat” from 2022 plays with the viewer’s perception of movement. The back curve of Bittencourt’s body and the close-up perspective create a vulnerable moment and create a friendly intimacy. The heavily pigmented blue background moves around her body as if conforming to her curves, rather than Bittencourt existing within this blue canvas. The absence of exposed body parts such as hands and face piques the viewer’s curiosity, as if to touch the two-dimensional shoulder. Katz invites the viewer to enter the canvas and ignite a tango of curiosity between Bittencourt and the viewer. These serial images seem like fleeting moments from memory. The simplicity of the images is great enough to allow us to foreground our own spatial moments. The specific details that indicate it is Bittencourt and the ambiguity play with our feelings of familiarity and distance. Even though the print is titled “The White Coat,” Katz plays with light and the aforementioned coat and continues to do so. In each painting, the light evolves in relation to the pigments highlighted on the coat Bittencourt wears in each work. The smoothness of the brushstrokes embodies the rapid shift between Bittencourt’s and Katz’s perspectives. “The White Coat” asks the viewer to look past all the distractions in our daily lives and focus on the small details that are often forgotten.
Vivien Bittencourt grew up in São Paulo, Brazil, where she received a degree in history from the University of São Paulo. In 1986, she moved to New York City to pursue her interest in filmmaking. She produced and directed documentaries about artists, including Rudy Burckhardt, Alex Katz and Kiki Smith. She also captured several historical poetry readings on film, including a 1988 reading of Jack Kerouac’s “Mexico City Blues” with Eileen Myles, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Bernstein, Nina Zivancevic and Richard Hell, and a 1989 reading of Hanuman Books authors with Herbert Huncke, Taylor Mead, Elaine Equi, Cookie Mueller, Gregory Corso and Rene Ricard. Vivien in White Coat is an exemplary work by Alex Katz now available at Frank Fluegel Gallery – this print features Katz’s clean lines and minimal approach to portraiture, and the monochromatic light blue background that is typical of his compositions. These portraits have no clear narrative – it is not important for the viewer to know the person or story behind the artwork. What Alex Katz is trying to emphasize with Vivien with White Hat is actually the beauty of the subjects. The use of soft colors and emphasis on fashionable details in his paintings transforms the coldness of sharp lines, lack of detail, and flatness into a work of art that the viewer can enjoy. Vivien in White Coat is a silkscreen print.
Upcoming Shows with Alex Katz:
MART, Rovereto, Trento, Italy
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain.
Alex Katz: Dance and Theatre Collaborations Colby College Museum of Art, Maine
Alex Katz Retrospective
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Alex Katz
Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands
Alex Katz: Recent Prints
Albertina, Vienna, Austria
FRANK FLUEGEL GALERIE with locations in Nuremberg and Kitzbuehel is focused on high quality originals of pop art, street art and contemporary art.
The art collector will find original artworks, prints and unique pieces by Adam Handler, Alex Katz, David Shrigley, Kenny Scharf Hunt Slonem, Nathan Paddison, Fanny Brodar, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol or Julian Opie. But also editions and prints by Harland Miller, Katherine Bernhardt, Tom Wesselmann, Sean Scully, Gerhard Richter, Ross Bleckner, Allen Jones, Thomas Ruff, David Gerstein, Peter Doig, Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin, Raqib Shaw and Robert Longo.
Likewise, other hot street art artists represented in the gallery include Mr. Brainwash, XOOOOX, Punk Me Tender, BAMBI, Fringe Southafrica and John Crash Matos.
Of course, the gallery also has design objects by Maurizio Cattelan, Paul Smith, Richard Orlinski or Philippe Starck or Pierre Jeanerette for sale.
Exhibitions are held in regular rotation in the centrally located gallery spaces in Nuremberg and Kitzbuehel. In the online store, collectors can buy the artworks around the clock. International fair participations round off the program.
FRANK FLUEGEL GALLERY
Obere Woerthstrasse 12