Alex Katz (monography)
Carter Ratcliff, Vincent Katz
Alex Katz has found his audience. It’s not the first time. Over seven decades, the artist has developed his vision with determination as the tides of avant-garde and academic fashion ebbed and flowed. His first audience was other painters (including de Kooning and Philip Guston), and today, still, he is perhaps best understood by other artists: those who appreciate how difficult it is to make something so simple, so well. Working in a representational style while his classmates celebrated Abstract Expressionism, eschewing slick surfaces for a pared-down view while his peers went glossy with Pop, Katz cleaved to one vision, a few locations, and subjects. Katz’s endurance and commitment to developing an original American style is explored in depth, from his boyhood influences to an artistic circle that included John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, Lois Dodd, Kenneth Koch, Frank O’Hara, Fairfield Porter, Yvonne Rainer, Larry Rivers, and Paul Taylor.
Sketches, works on paper, and archival material selected by the artist’s son, the poet Vincent Katz, give a fuller picture of the painter and his world. The more than 250 paintings–reproduced at an unprecedented scale–will be the most comprehensive collection available in a single publication.