Patricia Low Contemporary is pleased to present a solo exhibition featuring works by Alex Katz and new watercolors by Martin Eder.
The gallery proposes an exciting and innovative pairing : Alex Katz’ canonical style paintings the height of American sophistication, his canvases like fragments of classic films never-made about a reclusive East Coast set and the luxury of ennui (or vice versa) ; and Martin Eder’s extravagant kitsch-spectacles laminating the guilty-pleasure-desire of internet populism with compounding, magnifying beauty. These polarities of pop are binary exemplars of the shift from post- to hyper-modernism, media reconsidered, reconstructed in the centripetal orbit of painting.
The aesthetics of cinema and advertising underpin Katz’ American sublime : the imposing scale of his canvases redolent of bill-board or
silver screen aggrandisement, a physical register that both supports and belies the complesintimacy-detachment of his subjects. His portraits of Ariel, Vivienne and Eleanor are simultaneously nostalgic and intellectualised, executed with stunning and exactingcasualness, the cool calculation of planar grounds and loose gestural bruschwork unhinging the sentimentality of image to prioritise the deliberated connoisseurship of master crafsmanship.
Where Eder’s large-scale oil paintings elevate the voracoiusly base-desires of (trawling, trolling) internet consciousness to formalised art historical proportions, his small watercolours probe the viscerality of image, transgressing, obliterating, distinction between sentimentality and porn. Eder’s scantily clad models and are rendered with deceptive affect, their plebeian jpeg tropes mis-consumed and overly personalised through the benign property of watercolour, capitalised and manipulated to emotive and sexualised extremes.
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