Alex Katz: Small Paintings and Drawings, 1990-2016 at Galleria Monica De Cardenas in Milan

Lucy, 2013
oil on board
cm 30 x 40,5


After his large shows this year at the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Serpentine Gallery in London, Galleria Monica De Cardenas is presenting an exhibition of small paintings and drawings by Alex Katz.

Galleria Monica De Cardenas is presenting the more intimate side of the great painterʼs work. His small paintings are made directly in front of the live model or en plein air, their brush strokes are more gestural and impulsive. They are not only preparatory studies showing a monumental plan at its birth, but also autonomous works revealing the initial and spontaneous passion of the artist for his subject. Katz’s ability in rendering the fragile unity of a moment with a few brush strokes, reveals much of the person portrayed and of the artist’s personal reflections, voluntarily abandoned in the large portraits on canvas which show a more stylized and essential vision.This characteristic is enhanced by the small size which draws the viewer to approach closely and enter the space of the painting, thereby establishing a more intimate physical and mental relationship with the work.
Also the drawings offer insight into the artist’s process as often the original idea for a painting is illustrated here in its nascent state. Katz draws quickly in charcoal and pencil searching for the right expression, but in fact often his drawings are almost as accomplished as a painting, they are like paintings in black and white.

Grey Light, 1991
oil on board
cm 23 x 30,5


Wooster, 1998
oil on board
cm 30 x 23


Dancer, 1991
oil on board
cm 40,5 x 30,5


Ada, 2016
Oil on board
cm 30,5 x 23


Lady in hat, 2003
charcoal on paper
cm 57 x 40, cm 65,5 x 46,5 framed


Galleria Monica De Cardenas – Via Francesco Viganò 4 20124 Milano, Italy
27 September – 26 November 2016