Alex Katz

(Brooklyn, New York, 1927 - )


Alex Katz is widely recognized for his flat surfaces and austere lines. Robert Storr described Katz’s work as “a new and distinctive type of realism in American art which combines aspects of both abstraction and representation.” Katz studied at the Cooper Union in New York and the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Maine. In the mid-1950s, Katz worked in collage, but throughout the decade his work evolved toward greater realism, particularly in his portraiture. His friends—painters, critics, poets and fashion models—as well as his wife, Ada, served as his subject. In the 1960s Katz made larger scale works, incorporating dramatically cropped compositions. He made his first print, a practice that proved particularly prolific throughout his career, in the mid-1960s. In the 1980s and 1990s Katz shifted his attention to landscape painting, concentrating on scenes designed to create the effect of enveloping the viewer in nature. In the 2000s Katz focused on flowers, dancers and nudes as subject matter. Katz was awarded the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for Painting in 1972 and was inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1988. The Whitney Museum of American Art organized a retrospective of his work in 1986. A print retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum of Art followed in 1988, and the the Albertina Museum in Vienna in organized a second print retrospective in 2010. Work by Katz is found in museum collections worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tate Gallery in London and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

Lives New York City


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