Brooklyn-born Visionaire contributor Alex Katz is one of the most expansively successful artists of our generation. Having done portraits of big names such as Anna Wintour, Kate Moss, and Christy Turlington, it’s no surprise one of his prints has been chosen as the inaugural image of a five-year public installation with the Whitney Museum of American Art, TF Cornerstone and the Highline. The project will be unveiled this September.
Katz has nearly a forty-year long partnership with the Whitney. His first exhibition shown in the Whitney was titled Alex Katz Prints in 1974, and was followed by a full retrospective exhibition in 1986. Now, over seventy of his works are displayed permanently in the museum. Katz is also no stranger to public installations. One of the most notable was a frieze in 1977 above Times Square including the portraits of twenty three women, extending to be over two hundred fifty feet long. With his signature palette of saturated colors on bright backgrounds, Alex Katz’s contributions to public art in New York have been nothing short of iconic.
Katz’s digital print titled Katherine and Elizabeth will hang on the north-facing wall of 95 Horatio Street near the south end of the Highline at seventeen by twenty nine feet. The piece has never been displayed publically until now. It displays the faces of two women, good friends of Katz, set to a two-tone blue background. Whitney director Adam Weinberg tells ArtReview that part of the project is “reconnecting with the neighbourhood where we had deep a historical connection,” since the Whitney’s new Renzo Piano building is just around the corner from the museum’s first home on West 8th Street in Greenwich Village. The ongoing project will showcase works by American artists, and, if the images are anything like Alex Katz’s, the public installation won’t fail to turn heads.