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Ourselves Alone-an interview with Alex Katz

Rajesh Punj

Drawing attention to the foibles of fashion, American Alex Katz sees paintings of the modern period as much a reward to his own practice, as the artists of that moment are his rivals still. Chastising French impressionist Claude Monet for his inability to paint ‘solid forms’ that ‘would turn into cotton candy. Eulogising Paul Cezanne for his ability to decide what we see, explaining “he (Cezanne) makes you see everything through his eyes, and that for me was always the highest thing an artist could do,
when you can see things through his eyes, rather than of just making a beautiful painting.”And seeing the reductivism of Russian Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square (1913) “as good as it gets.” Which as social and historical intercourse serves to emphasis Katz’s own perspective on everything, from painting multiple figures into space, as Roberto Rossellini might have choreographed them on film, to the artist’s understanding of truth and beauty.

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