Richard Gray Gallery is pleased to announce Alex Katz Virtual Reality, the inaugural exhibition of the gallery’s new space on the 38th floor of the John Hancock building. Virtual Reality centers on Katz’s iconic portraits and landscapes from 1985 to 2012 with a focus on recent paintings from the past five years. This will be Katz’s fourth exhibition at Richard Gray and the artist’s first exhibition in Chicago since 2008. An illustrated catalogue with an essay by Michael Rooks, curator of High Museum of Art (Atlanta) is available.
“Katz aims to communicate instantly those immediate visual impressions from which the viewer draws an essential notion of appearances, a moment of cognition he has often described as the “flash” or “blast” before an image coalesces in one’s focus. He has created a style of picturing the instant, ungraspable, present through abridging and refining; disengaging familiar, everyday images from the strictures of history and narrative as well as the conflicted impulses of emotion; honing his images and disengaging them from convention; and zeroing in on essential and direct information. In Katz’s realism—bereft of the sentimental, introspective, or superfluous—this moment of recognition gives form to a continually shifting sense of contemporaneity that exists simultaneously in the image and its counterpart.”
Works by Katz are held in public collections internationally including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., among many others. Recent museum solo exhibitions include the National Portrait Gallery, London (2010); the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2012); and the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (2013). He lives and works in New York.
Alex Katz Virtual Reality opens on the eve of Richard Gray Gallery’s 50th anniversary. The gallery was established in Chicago in 1963.