The video “5 Hours”—filmed and directed by Katz’s son, poet and art critic Vincent Katz, and Katz’s daughter-in-law, photographer and filmmaker Vivien Bittencourt—documents Katz making the painting January 3 (on view in a nearby gallery). It shows the artist at work on this large landscape painting, divided into three sections. A portrait of Katz’s wife, Ada, fills the central section, flanked on each side by snowy winter scenes.
The film documents Katz’s athletic manner of painting. He begins with a canvas onto which a full-scale drawing, or cartoon, has been transferred—a technique developed during the Italian Renaissance. Cartoons serve as a way of fixing the final composition, which allows Katz to paint quickly. In the film, Katz can be seen consulting a small preparatory drawing and adding staccato “one-shot” strokes with a sure hand. As the film’s title suggests, the entire painting is finished in a mere five hours.