Alex Katz, Round Hill, 1977. Courtesy of Alex Katz. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Five decades after standing up to the abstract expressionists, artist Alex Katz is still affirming the urgency of figurative painting. There's his tenure, since 2011, with the white-hot downtown gallery Gavin Brown's Enterprise. There's the Katz mural that the Whitney will mount across the street from its new location. And then there's this curious shoutout from the fashion world: in perhaps the savviest branding move of the year, Loewe's creative director Jonathan Anderson centered the label's spring 2015 campaign around an unadulterated Vogue Italia photo feature from 1997 -- a sun-glazed Steven Meisel series whose main spread was modeled, right down to the Pelican Shakespeare paperback, on Alex Katz's 1977 painting Round Hill. With its luminous colors and magnetic stillness, the painting, like Katz's career as a whole, proves that art doesn't have to shock in order to stay relevant.
Loewe S/S 2015 Campaign. Photo by Steven Meisel.
Jonathan Anderson. Photo by Mark Cant.