Alex Katz is an American painter renowned for his large-scale depictions of landscapes, flowers, and portraits. Katz’s flattening of forms, simplification of detail, and alla-prima paint application, are trademarks of his work. “We compete for audiences, as artists. I'm competing with the Abstract Expressionist guys. I'll knock ‘em off the wall,” he once remarked. “If you put my work next to an aggressive A.E. painting, I'll eat most of ‘em up. And I want to compete with the kids. I'm there with the kids.” Born on July 24, 1927 in Brooklyn, NY, he attended the Cooper Union School of Art and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture as a young man. During the mid-1950s, Katz fell into the small circle of artists known as the 10th Street Scene, which included Lois Dodd, Larry Rivers, and Fairfield Porter, among others. Over the following decades, he developed his hallmark stylization through experimenting with collaged paper and aluminum cutouts. Having achieved widespread critical acclaim and commercial success, his work serves as a beacon to younger generations of artists, including Elizabeth Peyton and Julian Opie. Katz maintains residences in Lincolnville, ME, and New York, NY. Today, his works are included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tate Modern in London, and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., among others.
John Anthony Baldessari