Alex Katz Red Dancers
20 June – 18 July 2019
Thaddaeus Ropac presented an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Alex Katz, all pertaining to the medium of dance. Since 1960, the American painter has continually drawn inspiration from dance, thanks to a lasting collaboration with modern dancer and choreographer Paul Taylor (1930-2018). While working on sets and costumes for his performances, Katz developed an original body of work, using dancers as models to explore the immediacy of gesture and movement through the medium of painting.
In this new series of dancers’ portraits, Katz magnified movement through the radical cropping characteristic of his unique style. This original format, which cropped single body parts frozen in movement, was inspired by the imagery of television and Hollywood cinema, a technique used by the artist to convey the most arresting effect. The repeated use of the colour red endowed the paintings with a new intensity, highlighting in contrast the luminosity and dynamism of the dancer’s figure, executed with swift brushstrokes across a monochromatic background.