The exhibition will continue until October 7th, 2023.
Art and love have no age. The life of Alex Katz (b. 1927) bears full witness to this first concept. Despite being 95 years old, the legendary New York artist has recently exhibited at the Albertina in Vienna and the Guggenheim in New York. Deodato Arte Gallery also brings him to Milan with the exhibition ‘Alex Katz: Ada‘, which from 14th September to 7th October, via Nerino 1 in Milan, celebrates the works dedicated by Katz to his muse, who stayed at his side for 65 years: his wife Ada, the elegant face that inspired him ever since their first meeting at a Billie Holiday concert in 1957.
The established Italian-American research biologist Ada Del Moro is the protagonist of more than a thousand works that Katz has created during his career. In the exhibition, there will be two significant portfolios of silkscreens, in color from 2022 and in b/w from 2017. Pictures that are seemingly changeless, because it is love that animates them: ‘It was very strange for me to be looked at so closely by the man I had just fallen in love with,’ says Ada, ‘the way he studied me, my face, my ears, everything. It was extraordinary and, at the same time, an overwhelming feeling. Her figure as a woman was a sort of model of her time and world. Her hairstyle of dark hair à la Jackie Kennedy, her intense eyes à la Anne Bancroft, under her hat a matching neckerchief, and, of course, matching lipstick and large sunglasses are part of the pulsating New York art and literary scene of her time. Fascinating and timeless, like a true American sphinx, she adopted towards these works the almost dissecting gaze of an outsider, as an art critic: ‘I see the works as paintings, I see the differences between them. They are Ada’s paintings, I even call them that: ‘Ada’s paintings’, but I don’t see myself in them’. And her feeling is: ‘I see that I have been useful’.
A few years before they met, Alex Katz had discovered Maine as a summer residence for himself and she promised she would follow him there if they married; they have remained faithful to the holiday home ever since, always moving there from the beginning of June to mid-September. Away from Soho, where Katz has been working in the same studio for 55 years, in a 19th-century farmhouse. A touch of this familiar, beloved summer freshness – as if just back from holiday – is even originating from the prints in the latest series featuring Ada, whose warm skin tone is immediately striking.
Katz says that in Ada there is never a wrong, weak, inappropriate pose, as in an actress. Her parents, she says, used to take her to the movies when she was a child and she was probably unconsciously inspired by what she saw in the films. In this sense, even Ada’s age does not matter, because true beauty does not fade.