Maine’s landscape has remained a touchstone of Katz’s work since 1949, and the discipline of plein-air painting he learned there led to his painting outside during the fall, winter, and spring months in Manhattan. City Hall Park is the subject of two variations on a winter landscape in this gallery: January 3 and Winter Landscape 2.
Katz’s wife, Ada, is one of his most enduring subjects since they met in 1957 and is featured in January 3. Her portrait is set within the cool, wintery image of City Hall Park. The bright fuchsia of her hat and her vermillion-colored lipstick stand out against the gray tones of the trees and sky. At the same time, her appearance in the painting is independent from the landscape, as if she represented a jump-cut in the frames of a film, interrupting the horizontal flow of the landscape, and disrupting the painting’s sense of linear time.