Alex Katz: Theater and Dance constitutes the first comprehensive exploration of Katzʼs playful and inventive collaborations with choreographers, dancers, and members of avant-garde theater ensembles over six decades. The exhibition showcases rare archival materials, major sets and paintings, and previously unexhibited sketches from more than two dozen productions. In addition to presenting a range of works by innovators across the performing arts and poetry, it spotlights fifteen productions that Katz produced with Paul Taylor, exploring the creative partnership that generated some of the most significant postmodern dance and art of the twentieth century.
Since the late 1950s, Alex Katz has painted dancers and designed sets and costumes for theater and dance productions. As the first comprehensive museum presentation of Katzʼs highly collaborative and playful work with choreographers, dancers, and members of avant-garde theater ensembles, Alex Katz: Theater and Dance offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience Katzʼs designs and creative process.
Artworks from the show are drawn from the comprehensive Alex Katz holdings at the Colby College Museum of Art, home to a collection of nearly 900 works by the artist, and complemented by unpublished, never before exhibited sketches from the artistʼs collection, major sets and paintings, and rare archival materials from Paul Taylor Dance Company, among other key loans attesting to the intertwined histories of painting and stage design in Katzʼs works. This broad range of material, together with the insights of many Katz collaborators past and present, provides an innovative kind of retrospective: that of an artistic sensibility.
Alex Katz: Theater and Dance demonstrates how the central qualities of Katzʼs art—his radical sense of scale and cropping, his unrivaled study of light and color, his eccentric imagination and sense of humor—have taken shape and been reflected across two dozen or more dance and theater productions in New York and beyond.
For booking information, contact Russell Lord, Director of Exhibitions and Curatorial Initiatives, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Colby College Museum of Art is a collecting and teaching museum dedicated to the preservation, display, and interpretation of the visual arts. The museumʼs celebrated collection holds more than 10,000 works of art, emphasizing American art and contemporary art within holdings that span diverse cultures and time periods. Located in Waterville, Maine, the museum contributes to regional and national conversations, inspiring connections between art and people through distinctive exhibitions, programs, and publications.
Levi Prombaum is the Katz Consulting Curator at the Colby College Museum of Art, where he presented Alex Katz: Theater and Dance alongside All in One: Selections from the Alex Katz Foundation Collection. He has recently served as an American Council of Learned Societies Leading Edge Fellow at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and as a Getty Postdoctoral Fellow. Prombaum was the assistant editor and lead contributor for the catalogue accompanying the Guggenheim Museumʼs retrospective, Alex Katz: Gathering.
The exhibition is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue produced by Rizzoli on the occasion of the presentation of Alex Katz: Theater and Dance at the Colby College Museum of Art. The publication not only yields original scholarship on Katz, but enriches histories of mid-twentieth century theater and dance in its deep research and comparative focus. Contributors include Charles Reinhart, a champion of modern dance, who writes about the textures of the Paul Taylor-Alex Katz creative partnership; David Salle, an acclaimed painter, writer, and set designer, who discusses the image and communication-focused design strategies that Katz adopted in distinction to his dance and theater design contemporaries; and Diana Tuite, a curator of modern and contemporary art who provides original research and indispensable context for Katzʼs varied engagements with theatrical productions. Entries for each production are supplemented by first-hand accounts of performances by Jennifer Tipton, an award-winning lighting designer and a stalwart of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, as well as by Alex Katz himself.
The exhibition and tour are organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Colby College Museum of Art.