Marking another intriguing iteration of satellite programming over the course of LA Art Week and the run of Frieze Los Angeles, the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in West Hollywood is currently presenting Sunrise, a show of new works by painter Alex Katz that underscores the artist’s continued innovation and exploration of the painted canvas and his own, carefully-honed techniques.
Situated inside the beautiful interiors of the Schindler House, the show makes much of the rich interiors and minimal lines of the space, drawing intriguing parallels with the artist’s work. The space, originally developed as a shared live/work space with artists and designers in mind, here is turned into a radical exhibition site. Visitors wind through the rooms, encountering immense pieces by Katz spread throughout. The exhibition itself marks the latest iteration by the 95-year-old artist’s ongoing series he refers to as ‘splits’. Using a cut-up technique he blends inspiration from Manet’s pictures of women in hats in the sun, the fractured imagery from early cubism as well as the ‘cheap’ quality in Fassbinder’s ‘Beware of a Holy Whore,’ these large-scale immersive portraits of Sunrise Ruffalo encapsulate the fleeting nature of the gaze inside everyday life.
Katz’s intimate depictions of modern life, of his friends and family, and of the grammar of the everyday, finds an intriguing conversation point here. Whereas the New Yorker’s pieces focus in particular on faces and scenes, the design of the Schindler House presses forth concepts of space and form, function and movement. The result is a parallel between lives lived and lives depicted, and an intriguing conversation between the imagined, the perceived and the constructed. Opening a dialogue between life and its containing spaces, the artist’s work here marks another masterful portrait of his world, and the structures that define it.
The show is on view through March 12th.
– D. Creahan
Alex Katz at Schindler House [Exhibition Site]