Alex Katz b. 1927


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Alex Katz is an American figurative artist best-known for his paintings, prints and sculptures. He attended The Cooper Union in New York from 1946 to 1949 and later studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine from 1949 to 1950. The Skowhegan School cultivated his love for painting through its emphasis on painting en plein air and from life. Katz once stated that natural light was the only way to achieve an objects true color. Every year since the 1950s, Katz has spent the summer painting at his 19th century farmhouse in Maine. He is inspired by the freedom and spontaneity of nature.  Katz also drew inspiration from Jackson Pollock's use of space, which lead him to paint an all-over series of trees. Katz's work has been described as an environment the viewers can immerse themselves in.


In the 1980s, Katz had become famous for his "bold simplicity," bright colors and flattened objects, which earned him recognition as a pop artist. The majority of his work is limited to portraits, landscapes/flowers and his wife, Ada, who has been the subject of over 250 of his works. Katz also developed Cutouts, which he paints on panels of wood or aluminum and mounts onto stands or the wall. Alex Katz continues to work in New York and Maine.


 Katz's work is included in over 100 public collections worldwide, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the MoMA, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art.


Related Categories: New York School, Post-War American Art, Love, United States, Painting, Personal Histories, Related to Fashion, Light as Subject, Flora, Nature.