Coming of age as an artist in the 1950s, Alex Katz set out to reinvent representational painting in the wake of Abstract Expressionism. At first, Katz struggled to find an audience, destroying hundreds of canvases. This exhibition surveys the artwork that survived from this momentous decade, one in which he first painted outdoors, innovated with collages and met Ada del Moro, his wife and muse. The author's contextualise Katz's painting, consider how he and his peers looked at one another, mined 19th-century portraiture, and borrowed from television, advertising and cinema. The result is a fascinating study of a young artist laying the groundwork for an astonishingly successful career. Fans of Katz will be astonished by the radicality of his early work, and those being introduced to the artist will be struck by its freshness and relevance. Published in association with the Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, ME.
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 1389 g
Dimensions: 287 x 236 x 22 mm
"The paintings of friends, family and familiar places in "Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s," at the Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine, are no longer brand-new--they were made more than a half-century ago, when Katz was, at most, in his early 30s--but they're still terrific. Then, when Abstract Expressionism dominated, their figuration seemed transgressive. Now, what's most striking is the lively evidence of Mr. Katz's hand. The personality and vigor of these youthful pictures made us reconsider the deadpan images that sustain Mr. Katz's reputation today."
--"The Wall Street Journal"
"Katz's distinct voice of midcentury American Impressionism pleases on every page. Incorporating still lifes, landscapes, and portraiture, the collection highlights the congruence of brilliance in the subdued tones of Katz's work and the tranquility in even his brightest uses of color . . . Those interested in art history and fashions of the period or in Katz's method and evolution...will find the included essays informative, illuminative, and enjoyable, and all will be captivated by the scenes, patterns, and people featured in Alex Katz's inceptive works."
--Jewish Book Council