Paris Art Exhibit

Alex Katz: 45 Years of Portraits. 1969 – 2014

by Camila Coates  |  Published March 11, 2014

If you are visiting Paris this spring don’t miss out on the Alex Katz solo show at the vast and luminous Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac located in Pantin, a suburb in the northeast of Paris. A hundred of the artist’s colourful portraits produced between 1969 and 2014 take over the white walls of this space with the theme “the figure”. Selected works include large-scale portraits as well as more intimate sketches by this American figurative artist.

Photo: Jean on Horse (Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac)

Photo: Jean on Horse (Courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac)

For this year’s solo show, the gallery, which has showcased his work in the past, has built up an exhibition focusing on Katz’s portraits. These mainly include the faces of the artist’s friends and family, with the face of his wife Cara a recurrent theme. The choice of paintings for the exhibition allows visitors to discover the different representations of the same people by the artist over time. Visitors will appreciate the colourful yet simple and flat style of this painter, born in 1927 in New York and considered to be one of the most influential American modern artists.

A French-English bilingual catalogue with an introductory text by the French art critic Adrien Goetz and fashion journalist Suzy Menkes has been published to accompany the exhibition and can be purchased at the gallery.

Located in Pantin, a Parisian industrial suburb in the northeast of Paris, the gallery’s neighbours are the Chanel and Hermes workshops. The space is the latest acquisition by the Austrian gallery owner Thaddaeus Ropac who already has two spaces in Salzburg, Austria, and one in the Paris district of Le Marais.

Katz’s solo show coincides with an exhibition of works by Israeli filmmaker and artist Amos Gitai at the same venue. Gitai is mostly known for his film Kippour, shown in Cannes in 2000. Gitai’s show includes previously un-shown photographs and two short films. Both exhibitions are worth the trip to this North-eastern suburb.

The space in Pantin opened in 2012, after Ropac transformed a 4700 m² boiler factory into what Le Figaro has described as an “art village”. With this new space Topac challenges Parisians to leave their beloved city and travel to the industrial suburb, drawing them in with renowned artists such as Katz and Gitai.

With three more shows, two in Europe and one in the US, 2014 is a busy year for Katz. From May 28, the Tate Modern in London is displaying an “artist’s room” with his work. The show will feature a group of large colourful landscapes and runs until March 2015. Another exhibition is coming up at the Albertina Museum in Vienna. Alex Katz Drawings, Cardboards, Paintings presents a complete collection of drawings and cardboard sculptures from May 28 until September 14 of this year. Finally, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York will be lending a selection of Katz works to the Mattatuck Museum in Connecticut. The show which started in December last year runs until March 16, 2014.

Alex Katz: 45 Years of Portraits. 1969 – 2014
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
69, avenue du Général Leclerc 93500 Pantin
March 2, 2014 – July 12, 2014
Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-7pm
Free access