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The Black Dress has been a recurrent theme in Alex Katz's work since the very beginning. The theme of the edition goes back to one of his most iconic early paintings, which is indeed titled "Black Dress" and depicts 6 different perspectives of a woman wearing a classical, Breakfast-at-Tiffany like black shift dress. This painting dates from 1960 and is owned by the Brandhorst collection in Munich. The actual composition for the edition refers to the original painting "Black dress" from 2010.
"I also love what a simple black dress says about the woman who wears it. By making such a subtle and concise choice, she’s letting the world know she is strong and her sense of self is powerful." — Calvin Klein
Ruth is part of the "Black Dress" series of 9 life-size screen prints of the main women Katz has painted over the years. Ruth poses leaning against a yellow background and wearing a unique style of a little black dress, looking confident and elegant, classy but at the same almost snobbish. Ruth embodies all of Katz's main themes: the Black Dress, the Women, the Black and Yellow color blocking, the seriality, and the coolness.