Alex Katz has been painting bold and cool portraits and landscapes since the 1950s. He’s 89, still works every day and has become an icon of millennials who relate to his daring aesthetic. “I was always trying to make something new.” Katz said in a recent interview, “But now I feel the world caught up with me.”
Katz’s art has been resonating with the world of fashion for years. He’s done designs for Barney’s and this month the Swedish brand H&M unveiled a line of clothing and accessories done by Katz. Fashion has always played a large part in Katz’s work. The Little Black Dress, bathing suits, hats, jackets have all taken center stage in his paintings. Katz designed stage sets and costumes, for about thirty years, for the dancer Paul Taylor.
“A lot of the art world is controlled by art historians.” Katz said in an interview for Paper Magazine. “And many of them think art is frozen, but actually, art is very connected with fashion. I think it goes in three-year cycles, just as fashion does. Fashion is a great big thing that goes through the whole European-American world, and art tries to hook onto it just like everything else. Many think that people control the art world and what’s in fashion, but they don’t. It’s something that runs amok. We artists don’t make this stuff up by ourselves…it’s just our response to the culture.”
The culture also responds to Katz, whose paintings, prints and sculptures have been exhibited in over 200 solo exhibits and are part of more than 100 public collections world wide. It was Katz’s Paris art dealer, Thaddaeus Ropac, who was approached by the Swedish company to see if Katz would be interested in creating a clothing line. Katz’s sleek style resonates both here and abroad.
“Painting is not an isolated art; it relates to everything that’s going on.” Katz said, “A good artist hooks onto the wave. Somehow, he’s in touch with what’s going on.”
Katz says he goes out less often than he used to and spends more time working in the SoHo studio that he’s lived in since 1968. He and Ada, his wife and muse, spend three months of the year at their farmhouse in Maine, where Katz has a large studio.
His paintings seem timeless, always fresh and his style very much his own. We used Late Summer Flowers to grace the cover of our downloadable ebook How to Identify & Buy Fine Art Prints. Please visit VFA or contact us about the fine work by Alex Katz and other great artists available in our gallery.