Alex Katz and Alice Springs

Alex Katz and Alice Springs

Kestner Gesellschaft

Left: Alice Springs, “Brigitte Nielsen and son, Beverly Hills,” 1990. Courtesy Helmut Newton Foundation. © Alice Springs.
Right: Alex Katz, “Pink Nude 1″ (Detail), 1990. Öl auf Leinwand, 183 cm x 244 cm. Courtesy Alex Katz; Galerie Jablonka, Köln; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg/Paris. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011. Photo: Paul Takeuchi, New York.

November 24, 2011

Alex Katz and Alice Springs

Goseriede 11
30159 Hanover, Germany
Tuesday–Sunday and on holidays 11 am–6 pm
Thursday 11 am–8 pm
Mondays closed

alex katz | naked beauty

The US-American painter Alex Katz (*1927 in Brooklyn, lives in New York) will be showing a series of nudes covering the period from 1980s to the present day, juxtaposed with selected city views of New York in his show at the kestnergesellschaft. In this way, two extremes coincide in the exhibition “naked beauty”: the human body and architecture stand side by side and tell the story of the capacity of Katz’s painting to transform subjective impressions into universal symbols.

Until now, Alex Katz’s nudes have never been gathered together in such a concentration and profusion within the framework of one exhibition. With his characteristically focused works replete with crisp lines and surfaces, the painter explores the relationship between the real and the painted figure, creating paintings of singular persons and situations that are universally symbolic at the same time. The city views of New York shown in tandem with the nudes are drawn from situations and forms of everyday life, which, alongside the direct encounter with the life model, represent the material for his paintings. By means of the juxtaposition of nude and landscape as two traditional genres, the kestnergesellschaft is initiating a discussion on the essence of Alex Katz’s painterly enquiries: his respect for old subjects while rendering them modern, the translation of fleeting moments of perception in form and surface, the creation of perfect, cool planes of color using the traditional means of painting. When we look at Katz’s works, we see pictures that fluctuate between subjectivity and universality, without ever reconciling the two.

The Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg will publish an 100-page catalogue on the exhibition, with over 50 Illustrations. In English and German with a foreword by Veit Görner and essays by Morgan Falconer and Kathrin Meyer.

alice springs | people

In a comprehensive show entitled “people”, the kestnergesellschaft will present around 150 works taken over the past 40 years by the photographer Alice Springs (*1923 in Melbourne, proper name June Newton, née June Brown). Using the pseudonym Alice Springs, Helmut Newton’s widow began to develop her own photographic oeuvre in 1970. Although international stars take centre stage in the kestnergesellschaft show, Alice Springs’ friends and acquaintances are also featured centrally. The exhibition is a joint venture in conjunction with the Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin.

The featured list of artists, actors and musicians photographed by Alice Springs reads like a veritable “Who’s Who” of the international cultural scene on both sides of the Atlantic over the past four decades. The exhibition in the kestnergesellschaft brings together iconic photographs of Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld, Billy Wilder and Federico Fellini, Robert Mapplethorpe and Gerhard Richter, but also a number of portrait series, such as that of the Monte Carlo Ballet. Alice Springs’ not only documents the appearance of celebrities and contemporary figures, but also manages to capture a sense of their charisma, indeed their very aura.

June Newton discovered photography almost by accident in 1970 having previously worked as a successful actress and radio presenter. Due to her husband’s, she stood in at short notice on one of his photo shoots and henceforward adopted the pseudonym Alice Springs for her photographic work. The publication of her first advertising image for the French cigarette brand “Gitanes” gave a green light for her new career. Further commissions in the fields of advertising and fashion were soon to follow. In 1974, her first motif made the cover of the French fashion magazine “Elle”. A selection of her early photographs will also be on show at the kestnergesellshaft.

For more information please contact

Alex Katz and Alice Springs
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November 24, 2011

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