Cleveland, OH (April 27, 2017) – Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s is the largest museum exhibition to showcase Alex Katz’s (b. 1927) innovative portraits, landscapes and still lifes from this pioneering period. Organized by the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine, in close collaboration with Katz, this presentation explores the first decade of the artist’s career, a period characterized by fierce experimentation from which his signature brightly colored figurative paintings emerged. The exhibition’s title derives from Katz’s early manifesto announcing his intentions to invigorate traditional artistic subject matter. Creating work at a time when abstract painting dominated the art scene, Katz forged an ingenious way to wed abstraction with recognizable imagery by paring down his compositions to their most fundamental elements. In retrospect, these works prefigured the subsequent development of Pop Art. The exhibition includes more than 80 key loans from public and private collections, including many rarely seen works from the artist’s own holdings as well as a sampling of Katz’s works from the CMA collection. In a free program on May 12 at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the artist will talk about his early works on view in the exhibition. Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s is on view in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Hall at the Cleveland Museum of Art April 30 through August 6, 2017.
When we were fortunate enough to receive an invitation to attend the April 26, 2017, Cleveland Museum of Art's (@ClevelandArt) "Alex Katz Media and Influencer Exhibition Preview," we decided to read a bit about the artist online, and also viewed his website, AlexKatz.com. The exhibition opened on Sunday, April 30, 2017, and will continue through Sunday, August 6, 2017. All the details can be found on the museum's Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s web page. You should also watch the #CMAkatz hashtag on different social media platforms, and share what you see with others.
As members of the Cleveland Museum of Art, we had recently received the print version of the May/June 2017, Cleveland Art magazine, which included an article about the exhibition. (You can read the magazine online here, and also see: ClevelandArt.org/Magazine.) In the magazine, we recognized the painting, Impala, 1968, as part of the Cleveland Museum of Art's permanent collection, and looked forward to seeing some of Alex Katz's other work.
Alex Katz Exhibition Preview
The museum's Director of Communications, Caroline Guscott (@CarolineHerself), and Kelley Notaro greeted us as we arrived to start the evening. They introduced us to Curator of American Painting and Sculpture Mark Cole. It was great to have Mark Cole at the preview, so that we could ask questions about the paintings and learn some art history of the time period represented by this exhibition of Alex Katz's work. (Mark Cole's bio PDF file.)
We also met Diana K. Tuite, the Katz Curator from the Colby College Museum of Art (@ColbyMuseum), and enjoyed learning more about the show from listening to Dan Hanson's (@DanHanson) interview of her. Thank you to Dan for providing the full interview online for us to share:
At the start of the preview, we were treated to hors d'oeuvres and drinks from the Cleveland Museum of Art's fine dining restaurant, Provenance (@ProvenanceAtCMA), which included a signature cocktail created especially for this event. Cleveland foodies would appreciate how Chef Douglas Katz (@phireman) was at the preview to inform us that Provenance has a special menu with a theme to complement the Alex Katz exhibition (view dinner PDF and lunch PDF).
Attending the advanced view of the Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s exhibition, Julie especially enjoyed the vivid colors, the flowers, the later portraits, and the collages. Stuart appreciated how the exhibition was displayed to show the difference in Alex Katz's art the during the time period displayed, and the use of different media. Portraits are always Stuart's area of interest.
Here are our photos of the April 26, 2017, "Alex Katz Media and Influencer Exhibition Preview" (we recommend viewing in full screen mode), and our @sos_jr tweets and retweets relating to the exhibition.
Please share any articles, photos, and videos that you find interesting by retweeting -- a retweet is the best way to share with others on Twitter. We also recommend looking for more photos on social media by searching for the #CMAkatz hashtag and following @ClevelandArt on Twitter.
#CMAKatz Attended the media preview of the Cleveland Museum of Art's Alex Katz in the 1950's show. Pictures coming soon!!!!!— Paul and Paola (@WritersWithCats) April 26, 2017
Please note: tics typically sell out during member presale. Space is limited and not all members will be able to purchase tickets.— ClevelandArt (@ClevelandArt) April 25, 2017
Always a pleasure! https://t.co/IP9OsId6dz— Emanuel Wallace (@MannyWallace) April 30, 2017
Cleveland Museum of Art surveys Alex Katz's truly "Brand New & Terrific" work of the 1950s (photos, video) https://t.co/AJaAMNDoe8— Caroline Guscott (@CarolineHerself) April 28, 2017
Key Dates & Ticket Information - Alex Katz Exhibition
Here are some key dates of events relating to the Alex Katz Exhibition. Read all the details in the The Cleveland Museum of Art Presents Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s press release that Kelley Notaro posted on April 27th, and watch for updates.
In Conversation: Diana Tuite and Alex Katz
Friday, May 12, 2017, 7:00 p.m., Free, tickets required.
Friday, June 2, 6:00–10:00 p.m., $10 in advance, $15 day of event. CMA members FREE.
Art and Fiction Book Club: Alex Katz and John Updike
Two Wednesdays, July 12 and 19, 1:30–2:30 p.m., $35 per session/CMA members $30 per session.
Katz and Cocktails: Paint Night
Friday, July 28, 6:00–8:30, $45/$30 CMA members.
As we were preparing this blog post, Kelley Notaro emailed us to let us know that "There will be docent tours of the exhibition on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and Sat/Sun at 2 p.m. starting May 9. An exhibition ticket will be required."
We have attended docent tours before for special exhibitions, and highly recommend them. Watch @ClevelandArt for details!
Tickets for Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s are $12 for adults; seniors and college students $10; children ages 6–17 $6; children 5 and under free. Museum members free; member guests $6.
The Cleveland Museum of Art has placed all of Alex Katz's artwork that they own in the last room of the exhibition. We recognized Impala, 1968 as part of the Cleveland Museum of Art's permanent collection, but did not know the other works displayed there were by the same artist. We appreciate that the Cleveland Museum of Art displayed their collection of Katz's artwork together, so we will know to look for these paintings in future years.
A tip for those of you who have a smartphone -- preload the museum's ArtLens App, so you can easily search for the museum's database of artwork currently on display. (NOTE: the Art Lens App only shows currently exhibited works that are owned by the museum. The app will not show works that are on loan to the museum.)
While the Art Lens App only shows currently displayed art, the full permanent collection can be easily searched on the Cleveland Museum of Art's website anytime at: ClevelandArt.org/Art/Collection/Search
During the Alex Katz exhibition preview, we talked to Cleveland Museum of Art Chief Information Officer Jane Alexander (@JaneCAlexander) about the exciting metamorphosis of Gallery One into something new! Later in the evening, we went to see the ArtLens Exhibition construction area, and talked to the museum staff there about both the current developments of the ArtLens App and the changes to the gallery.
INNOVATION UNDER CONSTRUCTION! Gallery One will be temporarily closed starting Monday, March 6 2017 through June 2017. The STUDIO and WALL will still be open!
Gallery One will reopen in June 2017 as the ArtLens Exhibition. The goal of the Exhibition is to be an experiential gallery that puts you, the viewer, into conversation with masterpieces of art, encouraging engagement on a personal, emotional level. The art selection and barrier-free digital interactives will inspire you to approach the museum’s collection with greater curiosity, confidence, and understanding. Transitioning away from the touchscreen technology that Gallery One relied upon, the Exhibition interactives will use barrier-free, gesture-sensing projections that respond seamlessly to body movement and facial recognition as you approach, immersing you in the experience. There are 16 new and innovative games, centered on the following themes: Composition, Symbols, Gestures and Emotion, and Purpose. The Exhibition will feature a smaller collection of artworks (20) that are all new to the space. Each artwork will have two corresponding games in different themes, allowing you to dive deeper into understanding the object. Rather than screens positioned in front of the artworks, the Exhibition will reverse the experience with the artwork positioned in the foreground
Blog Date: December 26, 2016 - TechPint Winter 2016 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland
See the "TechPint Speaker #1: Jane Alexander, CIO of Cleveland Museum of Art" section.
Blog Date: November 9, 2016 - CircleTrek Walking Tour of Cleveland's University Circle
Blog Date: January 30, 2013 - Photos of Gallery One Opening!
Blog Date: January 18, 2013 - CMA's New Interactive Gallery Opens, plus GCPCUG & CLE Drupal
Blog Date: December 27, 2012 - @ClevelandArt #GalleryOne Crash Party
What Others Say
Here are some of the other articles and blog posts we have seen about the Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s exhibition:
YouTube Video: Alex Katz exhibit in Cleveland with Curator Diana Tuite
By Dan Hanson - ClevelandPeople.Com (@DanHanson - @ClevelandPeople) Published on April 26, 2017
We have known Dan Hanson for years, since both Stuart and he used to be on the Greater Cleveland PC Users Group board (@GCPCUG). In recent years, we have enjoyed his video blog of Cleveland cultural activities. We were in the gallery while Dan was recording part of this interview. It was interesting to hear the answers from Diana K. Tuite, the Katz Curator from the Colby College Museum of Art (@ColbyMuseum). We are glad to share the full video here (also embedded above in this post), since it gives a great behind-the-scenes insight into the Alex Katz exhibition.
Cleveland Museum of Art surveys Alex Katz's truly 'Brand New & Terrific' work of the 1950s (photos, video)
By Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer (@Steven_Litt - @ClevelandDotCom) on April 28, 2017, at 7:30 AM, updated April 28, 201,7 at 12:56 PM
We highly recommend reading Steven Litt's article, since he provides some great insight into the artist and his work. His article also contrains a slideshow with information about 20 of the exhibition's artworks, and a video about the artist.
‘Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s’ CMA Exhibit Preview
By Emanuel Wallace (@MannyWallace), Cleveland Scene (@ClevelandScene) Posted April 28, 2017
The day the exhibition opened, April 30, 2017, we were happily surprised to see @ClevelandScene's tweet showing a photo of Stuart talking to CMA curator Mark Cole. Then, we were even more surprised to see the first photo in the Cleveland Scene article ‘Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s’ CMA Exhibit Preview shows us viewing the artwork. Be sure to go and see all of Emanuel Wallace's photos of the exhibition online here.
Cleveland Museum of Art exhibit Brand New & Terrific - Alex Katz in the 1950's
By Dan Hanson, ClevelandSeniors.Com (@DanHanson) on May 2, 2017.
Be sure to read Dan Hanson's article on ClevelandSeniors.com, since it gives a great historical overview of Alex Katz, and information from Colby College Museum of Art curator Diana Tuite, CMA curator Mark Cole, and Provenance's Chef Douglas Katz.
Thank you, Cleveland Museum of Art, for this enjoyable evening. We look forward to attending future events at one of our favorite museums!
Disclosure: We were invited by the Cleveland Museum of Art's communications department to attend the April 26, 2017, "Alex Katz Media and Influencer Exhibition Preview," which took place before the April 30, 2017, opening of the Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s exhibition. We enjoyed free drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and admission to this advanced preview to be one of the first to view the new exhibition. (We are members of the Cleveland Museum of Art, which entitles us to the benefit of attending special exhibitions for free, but the exhibition preview was beyond our membership benefits.) We were also each given the catalog, Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s, by Diana Tuite (listed on The Cleveland Museum of Art Online Museum Store for $60.00), and sunglasses in the theme of this 1950s exhibit. We were approached to attend the preview because of our support of Cleveland Museum of Art via our @sos_jr Twitter feed, and our sosAssociates.com blog posts about the museum. We enjoyed the preview, and wrote this blog to share our experience at the event, and to thank the museum communications department for inviting us to the special "Alex Katz Media and Influencer Exhibition Preview."