Published On: Mon, Jun 23rd, 2014

Alex Katz marks his continued collaboration with the Whitney Museum and The High Line

The Whitney Museum will be unveiling a blown-up digital print of Katz’s “Katherine and Elizabeth “on a residential building  facing  the  The High Line, a famous New York city landmark.

Alex Katz,    Katherine and Elizabeth (2012) Alex Katz,    Katherine and Elizabeth (2012). Photo courtesy of Gavin Brown's enterprise Art,    Alex Katz/Licensed by VAGA New York,    NY

 

Alex Katz,   the veteran New York based artist, will be celebrating his recently announced renewed collaboration with the city’s Whitney Museum and High Line with the unveiling of a blown-up digital print of Katz’s “Katherine and Elizabeth” which will be hung on  the North-facing wall of a residential property situated on 95 Horatio Street, l facing  the southernmost exit of The High Line, a famous New York cultural centre, once railway line but now an aerial greenway which  runs from Gansevoort Street to 30th Street, through the neighborhood of Chelsea, which runs along the lower west side of Manhattan.

The unveiling of the copy of Katz’s “Katherine and Elizabeth”,  to take part in mid-July.   will mark the beginning of renewed collaboration between the Whitney Museum and the High Line with the original being shown publicly for the first time at the  Whitney Museum of American Art in their existing building on 945 Madison Avenue at East 75th Street in Manhattan.

 

Alex Katz -  The Red Smile,    1963. Oil on canvas-1

 

Alex Katz’s  was regarded by the Museum as being the most  logical choice to launch the collaboration, expected to be a number of many similar collaborations for the future. Katz has enjoyed a long and fruitful history of working in conjunction with the Whitney Museum and is recognized for his ongoing commitment to public art, having previously worked with both the Art Production Fund and the Creative Time organization and the to produce public artworks in New York, as well as other American cities.

Currently the Whitney Museum is in the processes of constructing a new Museum building to be situated in downtown Manhattan, and is scheduled to open to the public in the spring of 2015. Designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano the new Whitney Museum of American art will be situated between the High Line and the banks of the Hudson River.

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According to early reports, the new Museum building, when it opens its doors, will allow the Whitney to vastly increase their  exhibition and programming space, enabling, for the first time, the public access to the museum’s  unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art.

The High Line was constructed during the Thirties, as part of a massive public-private traffic infrastructure project under the title of the “West Side Improvement”. The line was constructed in such a fashion that it was capable of raising freight traffic that traveled the streets of Manhattan’s largest industrial district, day and night, at considerable risk to the public. The High Line went out of service in 1980 and almost twenty years later a a community-based non-profit association known as the  Friends of the High Line, got together to preserve the historic structure after it became  under threat of demolition. Now Friends of the High Line are working in tandem  with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park.

view_from_gansevoort_800_800

 

Adam Weinberg, director of the Whitney Museum working in conjunction with High Line Art curator Cecilia Alemani will be responsible for the ongoing project, which they see was inspired by a desire to reconnect with the region of New York that were the Museum and such a deep historical connection.

 

As well as the Whitney, Alex Katz’s work is in the collections of over 100 public institutions worldwide, as well as having been  the recipient  of numerous awards in recognition of his art, including The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for Painting in 1972, and in 1987, both Pratt Institute’s Mary Buckley Award for Achievement and The Queens Museum of Art Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Katz has also been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1988, as well as being recognized with honorary doctorates by Colby College, Maine and the Colgate University, Hamilton, New York.

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