The highly anticipated retrospective of the works of Alex Katz will open at The Guggenheim in just a few weeks. The exhibit will include works dating back to the 1940s, when Katz was a student at Copper Union.
In the last eight decades, Katz has developed a style that is bold and sophisticated. His use of color, especially in his woodcuts and silkscreens, available at VFA, is very elegant.
In an interview with The New York Times Style Magazine, Katz said that one of his greatest inspirations was a small gift shop statue, that his mother gave him, of Queen Nefertiti.
During his long career, Katz’s work didn’t fit into any of the art movement categories that were popular with the public and with critics. He work wasn’t Abstract, Pop, Minimalist or any other popular style. American art critics were not always kind to Katz, but he kept ignored the critics and kept sharpening his own personal technique.
“When you’re working with the tradition of art,” Katz said, “you’re usually painting like the paintings you’ve seen; your vision is other people’s vision. You see things through the culture in which you live, and the culture in which you live is always past tense. Some people are always seeing things in another time period. To see things in the present time period, you have to break through, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”
Alex Katz was born in Brooklyn in 1927 and raised in Queens. He has been living and working in his SoHo studio since 1968. He had a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1986, and many shows at galleries in the U.S. and Europe over the years. The retrospective at The Guggenheim is way overdue.
This year, Katz has had solo exhibits in Italy, Spain and Portugal. Works from the Alex Katz Foundation are on exhibit at the Colby Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine. The Foundation has supported many visual artists by donating their works to the museum. All in One: Selections from the Alex Katz Foundation Collection includes works by Katz. It will be on exhibit through June 11, 2023.
Alex Katz: Gathering, will include paintings, oil sketches, collages, drawings, prints and free-standing cutout sculptures. The retrospective will be on exhibit at the Guggenheim, New York from October 21 through February 20, 2023.
Sebastian Smee. With new fall season, America’s art museums are back in business. The Washington Post. September 7, 2022.
Will Heinrich. More Than 90 Art Shows and Exhibitions to See This Fall. The New York Times/Fall Preview.