Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s

July 11, 2015 - October 18, 2015

The Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz

The 1950s saw American artist Alex Katz (b. 1927) take up and master painting directly from nature, lay claim to Abstract Expressionism’s size and scale on behalf of figurative painting, and innovate with collages and cutouts. It was a decade in which he looked to the portraiture of Édouard Manet for lessons in the relationship between figure and ground, and the one in which he met Ada, his most enduring model. Given the overwhelming popularity of painterly abstraction, this was also a period when he destroyed hundreds of canvases, and those that survived had little to no audience. This major exhibition will introduce audiences to an overlooked body of work and consider it within the context of the aesthetic commitments of the decade. Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s features sixty-five paintings, cutouts, and collages, including many on loan from the artist and major public and private collections.

Details about the exhibition tour coming soon.

For press inquiries, please contact Francisca Moraga López.

Related Programming

Related Publications

Exhibition review: Geoff Edgers, Alex Katz at 88: Portrait of the artist unable to slow down, The Washington Post, July 2015

Exhibition review: Sebastian Smee, Alex Katz’s sweet spot: the hue of the ‘Brand-New’The Boston Globe, July 2015


Exhibition review: Colby College Museum of Art presents first survey of early works by Alex, July 2015

Exhibition review: Colby College Museum Of Art To Present Survey Of Early Work By Alex Katz, Antiques And The Arts Weekly, July 2015

Artist interview: Alex Katz on Faces, Flowers, and Saying No to AbEx “He-Man” PaintingArtsy, July 2015

Artist feature: Melissa Feldman, Cool Katz, Cultured Magazine, Summer 2015

Exhibition review: Kelsey Miranda, Colby College Museum of Art Shows the Early Years of Alex Katz, Whitewall Magazine, June 2015

Exhibition review: Lilly Wei, In the Studio: Painting in the Present Tense, Art + Auction, June 2015

Exhibition review: Peter Terzian, What’s Next: Life Studies, Elle Decor, June

Exhibition review: Sarah E. Fensom, Object Matter and Environment, Art & Antiques, June 2015

Press release: Brand-New and Terrific Press Release


Brand-New & Terrific

Alex Katz in the 1950s

Diana Tuite


Celebrating an experimental decade in the career of Alex Katz, this book introduces audiences to a relatively unknown body of his work.




Banner Image: Alez Katz, Jack’s Fancy Fruit and Veg., 1951-1952, oil on masonite, 36 x 16 in. Gift of the artist, 1995.091. Art © Alex Katz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

An Artist’s Gift: Acquisitions from the Alex Katz Foundation

May 22, 2015 - September 6, 2015

Lower Jetté Galleries, Upper Jetté Galleries

The Alex Katz Foundation, incorporated in 2004, has played a central role in the development of the Colby College Museum of Art’s collection. Over the course of more than a decade, the foundation has given nearly four hundred and fifty works of modern and contemporary art to the Colby Museum. Founded with the mission of supporting artists and art institutions through the purchase of artworks and their subsequent gifting, the Katz Foundation has become a model of artist-led philanthropy. On view in this exhibition will be a selection of artworks by contemporary artists including Elizabeth Peyton and Dana Schutz, artists of Katz’s generation such as Ronald Bladen and Al Held, whose reputations continue to grow, and foundational early twentieth-century modernists such as Charles Burchfield and Marsden Hartley.

Related Programming

Related Publications

Exhibition review: Bob Keyes, Summer visual arts: Katz as curator, The Portland Press Herald, May 2015

Banner Image: Marsden Hartley, City Point, Vinalhaven, 1937-1938, oil on board, 18 in. x 24 in., Gift of the Alex Katz Foundation, 2008.214

Highlights from the Permanent Collection

The Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion, Lunder Wing

This exhibition showcases the reinstallation of the Museum’s permanent collection galleries and the integration of works from the Lunder Collection with the Museum’s core holdings, including recent gifts from the Alex Katz Foundation, and select loans. Supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, this display reflects the Museum’s ongoing commitment to a comprehensive representation of American art from the nineteenth century through the present.

Highlights include David Smith’s steel Voltri Bolton II(1962), Maya Lin’s monumental marble sculpture Disappearing Bodies of Water (2013), a meter box by Donald Judd (1977), and Robert Mangold’s 18 acrylic and pencil drawings (1991) given by the Alex Katz Foundation. Cherished cornerstones of the collection, such as Albert Bierstadt’s View of Chimney Rock (1860) and Winslow Homer’s The Trapper (1870) will be featured, as well as recently acquired works by Frederic Edwin Church, William Matthew Prior, and Joshua Johnson.