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Black Dress 9 (Christy), 2015, Silkscreen in 29 colors

Black Dress 9 (Christy),

2015
Silkscreen in 29 colors
A consummate printmaker, Alex Katz’s practice of painting and printmaking are deeply entwined, as many of his print projects are based on his paintings. The “Black Dress” project was first completed as a series of paintings executed on door panels, depicting women dressed in Breakfast-at-Tiffany styled “little black dresses.” An extension of this visually arresting motif, the subsequent set of prints — made up of nine, nearly life-sized, figures each wearing their own varying interpretations of “the little black dress” — is an ode to simplicity. All nine women, each a friend of the artist’s, casually leans back again a vivid yellow background, and exudes an air of confident elegance, in this portfolio that furthers the artist’s signature monochromatic take on portraiture. The prints are deeply saturated with close to 20 layers of color to achieve the richness in inking. Mary Ryan Gallery launched this series with a solo exhibition in 2015.

In response to this project, noted fashion designer Calvin Klein wrote: “Alex Katz’s Black Dress series is modern and wonderful. And, ironically, it has absolutely nothing to do with fashion. His portraits have such strong color fields and clean lines. And despite their apparent simplicity, they’re extremely expressive and perfectly capture the essence of his subjects. You can’t help but notice these women, these beautiful enigmas drawn in bold and certain strokes. You wonder who they are, how they live, what they feel, just exactly what they have going on.”
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Black Dress 9 (Christy), 2015, Silkscreen in 29 colors
Black Dress 9 (Christy), 2015
Silkscreen in 29 colors