Ada (+ Family)

Paintings 1960 - 1985

October 16 - November 26, 2008


.........Adam Baumgold Gallery presents the exhibition “Alex Katz: Ada (+ Family),” Paintings 1960 - 1985, from October 16 through November 26, 2008. The exhibition will focus on paintings of Alex Katz’s enigmatic, constant muse and wife, Ada - and family - in small and large scale paintings. Most of the paintings in this exhibition were included in “Alex Katz: Small Paintings” at the Addison Gallery of American Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in 2001-2002, as well as the exhibition “Alex Katz Paints Ada” at the Jewish Museum in New York in 2006.

.........Featured in the exhibition is “Ada in Polka Dot Blouse,” 1975, a mesmerizing painting within a painting in which Ada is situated in the foreground - behind her is an immaculately painted reproduction of Katz’s famous “Walk,” 1970 - where Ada has now been cropped out. The small study for “Walk” shows the artist’s son Vincent walking on a path and Katz’s artistic process of arriving at the larger version of the work through a series of painterly studies. This method also applies to “Man (Vincent) in Canoe,” 1974, a robust study for a larger painting. As Adam D. Weinberg states in his essay for “Alex Katz: Small Paintings”:

.........“While his big paintings are akin to a public perfomance “without a net,” the small paintings are rehearsals that reveal not only how he works but more importantly why he is interested in a particular subject. Moreover, the small post-1962 paintings not only have utility as rehearsals for larger works but integrity as complete, satisfying, and beautiful objects in their own right.”

.........The early masterwork “Ada in a Pillbox Hat,” 1961, that was exhibited at the Whitney and Jewish Museums, shows Ada transformed into an iconic Jackie Kennedy pose with stirring effect. The no nonsense “Self Portrait (Study)” from 1982, that was also included in the Whitney’s “Katz: Small Paintings” exhibition, features the neatly dressed artist, head on, without any artifice, props or irony. The larger version of this self portrait is reproduced on cover of the catalog raisonne of Alex Katz prints.

.........The small and large paintings included in the exhibition of “Ada Behind Screen Door,” 1985, as well as the evanescent “Impala” (Study), 1968, reveal Katz to be an audacious colorist who can meld tight and loose structures within his compositions. Alex Katz has been a monumental force and influence in American and International art for over 50 years.

.........The gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 - 5:30 P.M. For additional information please contact Adam Baumgold at (212)861-7338.