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As a young artist in the late 1950s, Alex Katz was developing his unique style. A collection of his collages, on view at the Colby College Museum of Art from June 26 through September 18, 2005, offers a glimpse into that process. Alex Katz: Collages brings together about 70 collages made between 1955 and 1960 from cut pieces of colored paper.

These “very flat, simple, rather elegant” pieces, as described by Museum Director Daniel Rosenfeld, “have a kind of simplicity that was emerging in his painting at the same time.”

The museum’s collection of work by Alex Katz is one of its defining features, and it includes examples from the artist’s early years, when he studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, through mature work, which he continues to produce in his New York studio and during his summers in Lincolnville, Maine.

For this exhibition — the first comprehensive display of Katz’s collages — Colby will draw from its own collection of eight collages and borrow works from such museums as the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as from private collections.

Katz’s impressive body of work constitutes a unique aspect of modern Realism. In 1992 Alex Katz donated more than 400 of his works to the Colby College Museum of Art. Visitors are invited to examine paintings by Katz in the Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz, which has made the Colby museum one of the few in the United States with a wing devoted solely to the work of a living artist.

An examination of Katz’s spectrum of works will reveal why the Boston Globe said, “The artist’s bold, graphic style shines through the years. He’s the rare contemporary artist whose work appeals to just about everybody, yet there’s nothing of the lowest common denominator about it.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue raisonne with text written by guest curator David Cohen, gallery director at the New York Studio School and art critic for the New York Sun.

The Colby College Museum of Art is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, and the museum is accessible to people with disabilities.
Colby College Museum  of Art