Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown's enterprise

view of the exhibition
Gavin Brown's enterprise

"Katz created his first cutout quite by accident in 1959 when, unhappy with the composition of a portrait he was working on at the time, he cut out the painting's central figure to see how it might look affixed to another canvas. By removing the figure from a predetermined context, allowing it to exist in space as a discrete three-dimensional object, Katz recognized that his portraits could be viewed experientially for the first time. Excited by the possibilities this liberating gesture afforded, Katz continued to create cutouts through the 1960s, eventually shifting from wooden bases to aluminum ones.


"The fifteen new works featured in this exhibition are the first significant group of cutouts to be made in over a decade. They feature an assortment of figures, depicted either singularly or as part of a couple. The vocabulary of film—the extreme close ups, dramatic perspectives, and framing—has had a particular impact on Katz, who has redeployed some of these tactics in his sculptures. By omitting, enlarging, repeating, and erasing, Katz reduces painterly language to the extreme, and reproduces the immediacy and intimacy of film in so doing.


"Katz has said that sculpture 'should be about light and motion,' and in this group of works he accomplishes exactly that. The works achieve a weightless elegance that is all their own, dissolving form and expanding the picture plane to encompass the space surrounding each subject."—Gavin Brown's enterprise