Alex Katz

Ann Beattie, Author ABRAMS $29.95 (91p) ISBN 978-0-8109-1212-0
In the absence of a shared social framework, how do we penetrate people's surface images to reach the real selves beneath their masks? This question preoccupies Katz in his billboard-like paintings, and it is also the concern of novelist and short-story writer Beattie. Her fictional sensibility seems well-attuned to this painter's world of alienation, conflict and sadness. This volume splices Beattie's cautious, probing essay with color reproductions of 26 of Katz's paintings. She shows how his freeze-framing techniques capture people at odds with themselves or off-kilter, individuals who have failed to connect. The paintings also analyze the subtle ways in which ordinary people reveal themselvesor try to evade doing so. Beattie, who interviewed some of Katz's subjects, puts her finger on the sense of the pictures as pregnant with a hidden narrative. Her readings of specific canvases help us guess what that narrative might be. (April)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1987
Release date: 03/01/1987
Genre: Nonfiction
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