Large ruminative landscape paintings, completed in the last two years, comprise a masterful show. Katz’s works meld Hopper’s solitude, Hiroshige’s compositional wizardry and Thomas Cole’s investigations of the human being in relation to mother nature’s vastness. In 4 pm (2014), a white saltbox is the is nestled against a shoreline. It sits off in the distance, under a mellow afternoon sun, tucked behind a screen of rustling branches. The mysterious horizontal Fog (2014) is hard to decipher, but beguiling for its sense of familiarity—possibly depicting treetops that re-appear in other works. A cabin anchors the two “Night House” paintings (both 2013), light glowing from the doorway and windows, dwarfed by a mountain and trees. It’s unclear whether the cabin is welcoming or foreboding, a duality that Katz imbues throughout the show. More Katz is on view later this month at the High Museum in Atlanta and next month at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine.
Pictured: Alex Katz: Night House 1, 2013, oil on linen, 10 ½ by 8 feet. © Alex Katz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise. Photo Thomas Müller.