The "Purple Hat (Ada)", 2017 is a limited edition, focused on the portrait of Ada, Alex Katz's wife and muse, whom Katz has depicted in over 200 pieces, and she is the subject of some of his best, and best-known works. The viewer is greeted with a close up of her porcelain white skin, which depicts whiter in the cold, her piercing almond-shaped eye, and her glamorous red lips. For Katz, she is everything: unattainable beauty and familiar confidant; aloof, unknown model and warm mother. A fashionable woman, matching her wool hat to the lilac geraniums on her scarf.
Alex Katz has said: "She’s both a European beauty and an American beauty. She’s like Dora Maar, the same kind of face, but then her smile is the American-beauty smile".
This "snapshot" is a revisited iconography from Alex Katz's painting "January 2", created in 1992; a work that has also reached high commercial success and accomplished a selling price of $1,700,000 when was offered at Sotheby's auction house in November 2019.
Donald Kuspit once said about Katz´s portraits "Katz seems to make the shell of a person’s outer reality his or own complete substance, as though the person had no inner substance. Yet the quirkiness of Katz’s appearances alludes to that inner substance… For all their everydayness, Katz’s figures have an air of transient strangeness to them, suggesting the mystery of their inner existence, perhaps even to themselves.”