Being part of Alex Katz ‘Black Hat’ Series, this print features Vivien Bittencourt, a film director as well as the artist’s daughter-in-law. Together with her husband, Bittencourt filmed the artist painting in Alex Katz: Five Hours, documenting the production of his painting on January 3.
Vivien is shielded by a large black hat and sunglasses, her image is playfully aloof and mysterious. This thirty-four-colour screenprint shows Katz’s clean lines and minimal approach to portraiture. The solid monochrome background, a gleaming bright yellow – resembling the sun. Naturally, the sitter is wearing a hat and sunglasses! She is presented elusive but also glamorous, rendered in Katz’s characteristic flat and timelessly recognizable painterly style; the bold colours, simple but strong composition. Minimal and somehow Pop elements surface – even though Katz was never interested in neither movements.
“I choose the people I portray instinctively. You have an idea and the person sort of fits it in. I am not trying to paint everyone, just people who fit what I’m trying to do.„