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.
Community DayJuly 12, 2015 Noon
Join the Museum in celebrating the opening of our summer exhibitions, Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s; An Artist’s Gift: Acquisitions from the Alex Katz Foundation; and Paper Trail: Contemporary Prints, Drawings, and Photographs from the Collection. Throughout the day there will be art-making activities, a scavenger hunt, curator tours of the new exhibitions, free ice...
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Celebrating an experimental decade in the career of Alex Katz, this book introduces audiences to a relatively unknown body of his work.
Press release: Brand-New and Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s
Related exhibition review: Roberta Smith, Review: Alex Katz at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, The New York Times, May 2015
Related exhibition review: Paul Laster, Artist Alex Katz Takes Over Barneys, Observer, May 2015
Related exhibition review: Rosemary Feitelberg, Alex Katz Teams Up with Barneys New York and Art Production Fund, WWD.com, May 2015
Exhibition review: Sarah E. Fensom, Object Matter and Environment, Art & Antiques, June 2015
Exhibition review: Peter Terzian, What’s Next: Life Studies, Elle Decor, June
Exhibition review: Alex Katz at Gavin Brown, through Jun. 13, Art in America, June 2015
Exhibition review: Lilly Wei, In the Studio: Painting in the Present Tense, Art + Auction, June 2015
Related exhibition listing: Goings On About Town: Art, The New Yorker, June 2015
Artist feature: Audrey Fair, Alex Katz Reveals How to Become an Artist, Artnet, June 2015
Exhibition review: Kelsey Miranda, Colby College Museum of Art Shows the Early Years of Alex Katz, Whitewall Magazine, June 2015
Artist feature: Melissa Feldman, Cool Katz, Cultured Magazine, Summer 2015
Artist interview: Alex Katz on Faces, Flowers, and Saying No to AbEx “He-Man” Painting, Artsy, July 1, 2015