Alex Katz continues to paint arresting icons of contemporary Woman, frozen in big, flat patterns of color, light and shadow. A bare foot in a beach shoe, a luminous blonde doing a cocktail party slouch with her cleft-chinned hunk in tow, a profiled woman in a snood and huge dangling earring--they're all oddly familiar and grandly over-scaled. These paintings are about style and attitude, but they're also about the big lie of art. Like movie images, these figures have no depth; they offer only the instantaneously engrossing impact of a close-up.
In "The Black Dress," six identical slender women in little black dresses and minimal hair stand against a neutral background, their postures closely duplicating one another. They all look alike because they are essentially all the same woman--a type found at upscale social gatherings in Manhattan. Multiplied by six, looming against a completely neutral background, they are ubiquitous--a frieze of almond-eyed urban goddesses.