Alex Katz’s 1970 painting of his son Vincent with Open Mouth
|Born||July 24, 1927
Brooklyn, New York
|Field||Sculpture, Painting, Printmaking|
|Training||The Cooper Union, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture|
|Movement||East Coast Figurative painting, New Realism, Pop Art|
“Mi piace realizzare immagini semplici, cui è impossibile sfuggire, e allo stesso tempo complesse da afferrare” sono parole di Max Katz, artista americano arrivato a ottantuno anni senza mai smettere di dipingere, con uno stile essenziale, quasi da fumetto,i suoi grandi ritratti di uomini e donne qualunque. Opere che, con la loro semplicità apparente, non solo hanno anticipato Andy Warhol e la Pop Art, ma anche tanti pittori contemporanei saliti alla ribalta internazionale, dall’Italiano Francesco Clemente all’inglese Gary Hume.Per la sua personale inaugurata il 5 aprile al Marca di Catanzaro, dove resterà fino al 27 settembre, Katz ha voluto presentare Reflections, un ciclo di lavori recenti che riunisce paesaggi e volti riflessi nell’acqua, selezionati dal direttore del museo calabrese Alberto Fiz: << Questi dipinti sviluppano il tema dell’immagine riflessa che maestri del passato come Caravaggio, Tiziano, e Velàquez interpretavano col mito di Narciso>
Fiz ha anche invitato gli studenti dell’Accademia di Catanzaro a realizzare un murale che riproduce Trio (Luisa, Tara, Annika), una delle opere di Katz esposte al Marca. Un modo efficace di far dialogare l’arte con il grande pubblico. attraverso una pittura che non rinuncia alla tradizione ma racconta la contemporaneità.
Alex Katz was born in Brooklyn, New York. In 1928 the family moved to St. Albans, Queens. From 1946 to 1949 he studied at The Cooper Union in New York, and from 1949 to 1950 he studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. His first one-person show came in 1954: an exhibition of paintings at the Roko Galleryin New York. In 1974 The Whitney Museum of American Art showed Alex Katz Prints, followed by a traveling retrospective exhibition Alex Katz in 1986. During his first ten years as a painter, Katz admitted to destroying a thousand paintings. Since the 1950s, he worked to create art more “freely” in the sense that he tried to paint “faster than [he] can think.” His works seem simple, but according to Katz they are more reductive, which is fitting to his personality.
In 1994 Cooper Union Art School created the Alex Katz Visiting Chair in Painting with the endowment provided by the sale of ten paintings donated by the artist.
Phaidon Press (2005) published an illustrated survey, Alex Katz by Carter Ratcliff, Robert Storr and Iwona Blazwick. Also in 2005, Katz made 25 etchings for the Arion Press edition of Gloria with 28 poems by Bill Berkson.
It was only during the last decade that his art gained world wide acceptance, as it is now considered influential on much younger generations of artists. In 2007, Katz had a major solo show at the New York State Museum.At the age of 80, Katz broke out of his minimal fame in small art circles, and is currently seen as a major American painter.
In 2007, Katz is represented by Richard Gray Gallery in Chicago and Robert Miller Gallery and Pace Wildenstein in New York. In 2008 he was the subject of a documentary directed by Heinz Peter Schwerfel, titled What About Style? Alex Katz: a Painter’s Painter.
A summer resident of Lincolnville, Maine since 1954, he has developed a close relationship with local Colby College. The college presented him with an honorary doctorate in 1984. 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 donated by the artist.
Alex Katz is represented by PaceWildenstein, New York. He will have a solo-exhibition of new large-scale landscape paintings of twilight and sunsets, Alex Katz: Fifteen Minutes, at PaceWildenstein’s 545 West 22nd Street gallery from April 24 through June 13, 2009.
Notes and references
- ^ Robert Ayers (January 18, 2006), National Alex Katz, ARTINFO, http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/9528/alex-katz/, retrieved on 2008-04-16
- ^ http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/exhibits/special/AlexKatz.cfm
- ^ Ted Loos (June 14, 2007), Cool Katz, ARTINFO, http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/25234/cool-katz/, retrieved on 2008-04-16
- ^ colby.edu, accessed September 21, 2007.
- ^ Auction Results: Alex Katz’ Poppy
- ^ Auction Results: Alex Katz’ Red Tulips
- ^ tate.org.uk, accessed September 21, 2007.
- ^ moma.org, accessed September 21, 2007
- Richard Gray Gallery
- Short biography at official website
- Alex Katz interviewed by Richard Prince
- Colby College Museum of Art
- Biography on Magical-Secrets.com
- Artist Alex Katz Featured in J.Crew Catalog
- “Ada with Sunglasses” tapestry by Alex Katz
Meet Alex Katz