Purple Wind

Alex Katz American

Not on view

Like so much of Katz’s work, Purple Wind is a study in vivid color contrasts as well as dramatic visual and spatial effects. Here the artist depicts a haunting image of a barren tree set in relief against an apartment building at night. The windows of the structure, which appear to be illuminated from within, are not so much represented as they are suggested through the application of ten perpendicular brushstrokes on a purple ground. The branches of the tree are similarly rendered with single swipes of the brush. The composition that results is as much musical as it is visual: Katz carefully choreographs the relationship between diagonal, horizontal, and vertical lines in order to create a sense of rhythmic movement.

Purple Wind, Alex Katz (American, born Brooklyn, New York, 1927), Oil on linen

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