1927 (Brooklyn, New York)
© Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY See Details
Often Known For
post mod figure, still life, graphics
Would you like to discuss this artist?
AskART Discussion Boards
Categories of Interest
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The son of Russian immigrants, Alex Katz was born July 24, 1927 in
Brooklyn, New York and raised in Queens in a liberal, Bohemian
setting. He is a figure
painter of realistic portraits of friends and family, and his figures
are usually relaxed
close-ups from a frontal perspective and appear in a flattened
manner. With his artwork, he strives to convey the feeling
that it is good
to be alive. It has been said that his style highly influenced
popularity of New Realism in the 1970s. Along with his associates
and Philip Pearlstein, and others who were struggling against the
'titanic presences of Pollock and de Kooning' and other abstract
Katz studied three years (1946-49) at Cooper Union and Skowhegan
Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine from 1949-50. During
the 1960s, he was an art educator with teaching positions in New York
City at the New York Studio School and School of Visual Arts; in New
Haven at Yale University;
and in Brooklyn at Pratt Institute. He also supported
himself by making hand-carved frames and designing stage sets and
costumes in 1960 and 1964 for the Paul Taylor Dance Company for their
performances at the Festival of Two
Worlds in Spoleto, Italy.
By 1954, Alex Katz had his first one-person show at the Roko Gallery
in New York. The following year he began making cut paper
collages. His wife, Ada, has been his model since they married in
1958. He works from a studio in SoHo, and they have lived in the
same loft since 1968.
Alex Katz Prints, a traveling exhibition at The Whitney Museum of American Art
Alex Katz, a traveling retrospective exhibition at The Whitney Museum of American Art
Alex Katz: A Print Retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum of Art
Alex Katz: American Landscape at Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany
Alex Katz at I.V.A.M. Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia, Spain
Alex Katz: A Drawing Retrospective, a traveling exhibition at Munson-Williams Proctor Institute, Utica, New York
Katz Under the Stars: American Landscapes 1951-1995, organized by the
Institute for Contemporary Art/P.S. 1 Museum, opens at the Baltimore
Museum of art; traveling to the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach
Florida; the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine; and P.S. 1
Museum, New York
Alex Katz: Twenty Five Years of Painting at The Saatchi Collection, London, England
1999 Alex Katz at Galleria Civica Di Arte Contemporanea, Trento, Italy.
2000 Regarding Alex Katz at Carnegie Museum of Art , Pittsburgh.
2001 Alex Katz Small Paintings at Addison Gallery of American Art Phillips Academy, Andover.
2002 Alex Katz Small Paintings
at Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy, Andover.
at Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
at Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York
at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO, March 22-June 2, 2002
at Oklahoma City Art Museum, Oklahoma City, OK
at The Austin Museum of Art, Austin, February 15-May 4 2003
Alex Katz's website: http://alexkatz.com/bio.html
Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Art
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|On July 24, 1927 Alex Katz was born in New York City. From
1946-49 he studied at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, and
then at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine from
1949-50. In 1972 he was awarded the Guggenheim Grant in Painting.|
Alex Katz is notable among artists who have emerged since 1950.
His career now spans more than fifty years, and he has produced a large
body of work that displays a unique aspect of modern realism. The
mainstay of Katz's paintings since the late 1950's have been portraits,
and his subjects are often his wife, Ada, son, Vincent, and a circle of
friends composed of artists, poets, critics and dancers. His portraits
combine aspects of both abstraction and representation, and are
characterized by flatly painted, dramatically cropped, oversize heads
that recall movies, advertising and billboards.
Drafted on V-J Day, Katz had a brief stint in the Navy, and spent time
in places as varied as Marseille, France, Panama, and Japan. When
he mustered out, he used money from the GI bill to attend Cooper Union.
Later, living in New York's East Village in the 1950s, Katz was
surrounded by the art and artists of Abstract Expressionism.
Unlike the emotionally charged abstractions of artists such as Pollock
and DeKooning, Katz favored cool, representational work. When the
dominant trend in artmaking involved emotional outbursts of color, Katz
was filling galleries with spare, simplified portraits and landscapes
painted with control. In his 1992 book about the artist, Sam
Hunter describes Katz's portraiture as having a "lack of any apparent
interest in revealing his sitter's personality," and Katz himself would
likely agree, as he says his work does not contain narrative.
What concerns Katz most is the surface appearance and the translation
of a three-dimensional world onto a two dimensional surface.
For almost fifty years, he has painted portraits of his wife, Ada, and
many books and articles have been written about the cumulative effect
of this body of work, and her role as his muse, comparing her to other
'goddesses' who have capitvated the imagination of portrait painters.
Katz has also taught painting at several institutions, including the
Brooklyn Museum of Art and Yale Universtiy. Since 1954 Katz has
been a summer resident of Lincolnville, Maine, and has developed a
relationship with Colby College there. The college presented him
with an honorary doctorate in 1984, and in October 1996, the Colby
College Museum of Art opened a wing dedicated to Katz that features
more than 400 oil paintings, collages and prints that he had donated.
the website wikipedia; to Richard Marshall, Associate Curator of
Exhibitions; Whitney Museum of American Art, from the catalogue, 'Alex Katz: A Retrospective';
the website of Michael Berger Gallery.; the website of yale.edu; the
website of the Smithsonian Institution, si.edu, and their article of
Paul Cumings' October, 1969, interview with Alex Katz.
|** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.|