Alex Katz Vivien in White Coat

Portraiture is, without any doubt, one of the most important genres in the history of art. Together with landscapes, portraiture is probably the most used artistic genre in art in general. But what is so magical about portraiture?

As scholar Jean Sorabella says “A portrait does not merely record someone’s features, however, but says something about who he or she is, offering a vivid sense of a real person’s presence.”

But ALEX KATZ rejects some of these traditional ideas about portraiture. “Most portraits deal with the artist’s interpretation on what the person is and I wanted to deal with  appearance. It takes all my energy to get the appearance right. And what the inner life of the person is something I’m absolutely not interested in.”

In the nineteen-fifties, when most of the serious art being done was abstract, Alex Katz outraged scores of artists and formalist critics by inventing new ways to paint the human figure. He has always had his own direction, which has not been the direction of mainstream art in any of the last seven decades.

VIVIEN IN A WHITE COAT is a portrait that breaks all convention. The subject is turned away and you can’t even see her face! The emphasis of the portrait becomes her bright, white coat and the way she stands and carries herself. Even without seeing her face, Vivien's presence is still somehow so striking, and makes for a compelling artwork.

VIVIEN IN A WHITE COAT (2021) by Alex Katz is a silkscreen in colors on Saunders 425 gsm paper. Vivien in White Coat is signed in pencil and is an edition of 60. For more information about Alex Katz or Viven in White Coat please contact the gallery. Call for Value