Alex Katz @ 365 Mission

A flat plane can convey much more than its one-dimensional nature suggests. Alex Katz’s paintings, flatly rendered devoid of much context, bring out strange clarity in spite of their restraint. Particularly showcased in his exhibition of flower paintings set at 365 Mission. In a vast gallery with high, vaulted ceilings the large scale paintings were situated comfortably allowing a viewer to sit with any particular piece.

a particular piece stood out to me from all the rest, Tulips 4. Upon gazing at this painting you are immediately immersed within its large frame. After getting passed the immense scale you begin to soak in the contents of the painting which is an arrangement of large tulips on the canvas painted with with a paper like visual effect pushing and pulling the space of the canvas in a very flat and planer way complemented and accentuated with the paintings jet black background. The paintings contents are nothing to really read into but rather to experience, making the paintings generously inviting. The paintings carry with them a Baroque idea, guiding the viewers gaze from one yellow tulip to the next with a Pollack like exicution.

The paintings for me was nothing short of an elegant journey hopping and sliding down and through the leaves of the flowers arriving at points of rest. A roller coster ride where I can get off and on at my discretion. Katz’s flower paintings hold a kind of timelessness quality, rejecting wistful elements while celebrating there energy and ephemerality.