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Spaightwood Galleries

Last updated: 6/23/2019
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / Pop Art in the U.S. and Europe / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists

Alex Katz (American, b. 1927)

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Valerio Adami, Joan Gardy Artigas, Richard Avedon, Enrico Baj, Elizabeth Blackadder, Richard Bosman, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Robert Cottingham, Allan D'Arcangelo, Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Alex Katz, R. B. Kitaj, Nicholas Krushenick, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Lindner, Claes Oldenburg, Peter Phillips, Mel Ramos, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, George Segal, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Saul Steinberg, Andy Warhol, John Wesley, and Tom Wesselmann
1927: Born July 24 in Brooklyn, New York
1946-49: Studies at The Cooper Union, New York
1949-50: Studies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine
1954: First one-person show (Roko Gallery, New York)
1955: Makes first collages
1968: Moves to present home and studio in New York
1974: Alex Katz Prints, a traveling exhibition at The Whitney Museum of American Art
1986: Alex Katz, a traveling retrospective exhibition at The Whitney Museum of American Art
1988: Alex Katz: A Print Retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum of Art
1995: Alex Katz: American Landscape at Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany
1996: Alex Katz at I.V.A.M. Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia, Spain
1996: Alex Katz: A Drawing Retrospective, a traveling exhibition at Munson-Williams Proctor Institute, Utica, New York
1996-98: Alex 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
1998: 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.

Although Alex Katz might be the first name that pops into everyone's mind when asked to name some archetypical POP artists, Tom Wesselmann shows that at least for him, Katz was there when others were looking for alternatives to the heroic poetry of Abstract Expressionist painting: "In an interview with Irving Sandler, Wesselmann discusses the moment of turning away from Abstract Expressionism and the birth of Pop Art: "I didn't want to deal in poetry. I got rid of that after a few months. I began to anyway. I guess it took me a couple of years to get rid of that. In fact, I guess it was a good two years before I began to come around to the idea that was also voiced and reinforcing myself by Alex Katz when I heard him say one time that his paintings looked brand new, like they'd just come out of a box. This was part of the climate at the time. It was all coming together in about 1962, I guess. More and more, I mean, because you had Lichtenstein coming on the scene, and Warhol and Rosenquist. Things were kind of clean and slick. It was just kind of in the air at the time. Quite naturally it affected my show in '61. I had a one-man show at the Tanager in '61. I was still involved with some idea of painterliness. By the time my show opened at the Green Gallery a year later, I'd gotten rid of about seventy-five percent of that, not all of it by any means. I used collage primarily because I was impatient and secondarily because I didn't have any point of view to paint the things myself and I felt very unskilled—I'd never done this before. I'd never painted anything—never painted or anything before. So I was quite content to take other people's work since I didn't care anyway about the subject matter. I approached subject matter as a scoundrel. I had nothing to say about it whatsoever. I only wanted to make these exciting paintings. I was doing these strange little paintings, these collages; I guess I'd done about four, five or six. The first living artist to set eyes on them was Jimmy Dine who came down one day. He said "You may be one of America's great painters." That never occurred to me. It was a very important thing he said to me. It was quite helpful; gave my morale a boost because I wasn't sure" (from the Smithsonian Oral Interviews Archive."

Selected Bibliography: Baltimore Museum of Art, Alex Katz Under the Stars: American Landscapes 1951-1995 (Baltimore: Baltimore Museum of Art, 1996—exhibition toured to three other venues); Ann Beattie, Alex Katz (NY: Abrams, 1987); Fresno Arts Center, Alex Katz: An exhibition (Fresno: Fresno Arts Center, 1977); Martin Friedman and Dean Swanson, Figures / Environments: Alex Katz, Red Grooms, Jann Haworth, Duane Hanson, Paul Thek, Lynton Wells, George Segal, Robert Whitman (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1970); Kay Heymer, Alex Katz (Koln, Germany: Salon-Verlag, 1998); Sam Hunter, Alex Katz (NY: Rizzoli, 1992); Donald Kuspit, Alex Katz: Night Paintings (NY: Abrams, 1991); Gail Levin with Dewey F. Mosby, Alex Katz. Process and Development. Small Paintings from the Collection of Paul J. Schupf '58 (Hamilton NY: Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University, 1984); Martin Maloney, Alex Katz (NY: Marlborough Galley, 1999); Marlborough Gallery, Alex Katz (NY: Marlborough Gallery, 1980); Marlborough Gallery, Alex Katz: Recent Paintings (NY: Marlborough Gallery, 1983); Marlborough Gallery, Alex Katz: Recent Paintings ( NY: Marlborough Gallery, 1986); Marlborough Gallery, Alex Katz ( NY: Marlborough Gallery, 1988); Marlborough Gallery, Alex Katz ( NY: Marlborough Gallery, 1993); Marlborough Gallery, Alex Katz ( NY: Marlborough Gallery, 1999); Richard Marshall, Alex Katz (NY: Rizzoli/Whitney Museum, 1986); Carter Ratcliff, Alex Katz Cutouts (NY: Robert Miller Gallery, 1979), Ropac Galerie, Alex Katz ( Paris: Ropac Galerie, 1998); Sue Scott, Alex Katz: Paintings, Drawings and Cutouts (Orlando: Orlando Museum of Art, 1990); Irving Sandler, Alex Katz (NY: Abrams, 1979); David Sylvester, ed., Alex Katz: Twenty Five Years of Painting from the Saatchi Collection (London: The Saatchi Gallery, 1997).

Prints: Nicholas P. Maravel, Alex Katz: The Complete Prints (NY: Alpine Fine Arts, 1983); Elke M. Solomon and Richard S. Field, Alex Katz: Prints (NY: Whitney, 1974: the exhibition travelled to five other locations).
Portrait in a Convex Mirror. Original lithograph, 1984. 175 signed & numbered impressions of which twenty five were reserved for contributors to a deluxe edition of John Ashbery's Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. Image size: 387mm in diameter. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.
Day Lilies. Original color serigraph, 1992, published by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City; edition 108 signed and numbered impressions plus about 18 artist's proofs. There is also a poster edition with a text printed on it. Image size: 350x1000mm (about 13-34x40 inches). Price: SOLD

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