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Alex Katz

Alex Katz

Born in 1927, in Brooklyn (United States)

Lives and work in New York (United States)

The work of Alex Katz is readily associated with Pop Art, both for its realism and choice of subjects, yet it differs significantly. The apparent simplicity of his pieces reflects a distant Matissian heritage, while simultaneously remaining indissociable from the history of American painting.

In the early 1960s, the monumental size of his paintings, depicting tightly-framed subjects, evoked a billboard-like aesthetic. Known for his landscapes and portraits of women, Katz primarily paints his entourage; his wife, Ada, is depicted in more than 250 portraits. A feeling of tranquility and the representation of an idealized American way of life emerge by way of a meticulous, multi-stage process. Oil sketches from life are followed by drawings in pencil or charcoal transferred to a canvas, which is then painted in a single workshop session. Katz calls his large-format landscapes created in Maine “environmental paintings.” Using diluted materials that seem to extend beyond the frame, he captures sunlight and foliage in Black Brook 18 and Figure in the Woods. For more than twenty years, Katz painted the same river, Black Brook, near his Lincolnville studio/house every summer. In this series, which includes pieces ranging from small to massive formats, he captures the landscape’s reflection on the surface of the water without clearly distinguishing what is represented.

Bibliography

Ratcliff, Carter ; Storr, Robert ; Blazwick, Iwona ; Schwabsky, Barry. Alex Katz. Revised and expanded edition. London : Phaidon Press, 2014. 0-7148-6740-3 

Goetz, Adrien ; Menkes, Suzy, Eeman, Isabelle ; Harrison, Jeremy. Alex Katz : 45 years of portraits : 1969-2014 [exposition, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris Pantin, 2 mars - 12 juillet 2014]. Paris ; Salzburg : Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac ; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 2014. 978-2-910055-58-5 

Rooks, Michael ; Graham, Margaret ; Godfrey, John ; Katz, Vincent ; Salle, David. Alex Katz, This Is Now [Exhibition : High Museum of Art, Atlanta, USA June 21 - September 6 .2015 ; Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain, October 16 2015- January 31 2016]. Atlanta ; New Haven : High Museum of Art ; Yale University Press, 2015. 978-0-300-21571-7 

Katz, Alex ; Obrist, Hans Ulrich, Serpentine gallery (Londres). Alex Katz, : quick light {exhibition, Serpentine Gallery, London, 3 June - 11 September 2016]. London ; London : Koenig Books ; Serpentine Gallery, 2016. 978-1-908617-37-8 

Chassey, Éric de, Musée de Grenoble (Grenoble) ; Museum Kurhaus (Clèves, Allemagne). Alex Katz : an american way of seeing : exposition, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, [21 février-31 mai 2009] ; Musée de Grenoble, [4 juillet-27 septembre 2009] ; Museum Kurhaus Kleve, [11 octobre 2009-21 février 2010]. Grenoble : Musée de Grenoble, 2009. 2-902230-12-5 

Sandler, Irving. Alex Katz : a retrospective. New York : Harry N. Abrams, 1998. 978-0-8109-1231-1 

 

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All materials available at the Documentation Centre of the Fondation

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