THE HIGH: CONVERSATIONS WITH CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS: ALEX KATZ
THE HIGH MUSEUM OF ART ATLANTA
THURSDAY, JUNE 18
Alex Katz (born Brooklyn, N.Y., 1927) is represented in more than 100 museums worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Tate Gallery, London; the Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among many others. Katz has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group exhibitions around the world since 1951.
Setting out as a young painter in the 1950s, Katz immersed himself in the art world of New York, then populated with the larger-than-life figures of Abstract Expressionism to whom most artists of his generation aspired to emulate. However, in spite of the preeminence of that movement, Katz took a separate path that represented a new direction in painting. Inspired by the open structure of Jackson Pollock’s allover paintings, Katz made the radical decision to apply Pollock’s formal framework to representational painting, employing the idea of the color field as environmental space between and among the things that populated his canvases. Katz began exhibiting his work in 1954, and since that time has produced a celebrated body of work that includes paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints. His earliest work took inspiration from various aspects of mid-century American culture and society, including television, film and advertising, and over the past five-and-a-half decades he has established himself as a preeminent painter of modern life. Utilizing characteristically wide brushstrokes, large swaths of color, and refined compositions, Katz created what art historian Robert Storr called “a new and distinctive type of realism in American art which combines aspects of both abstraction and representation.”
Meet Alex Katz and hear his observations and opinions about art in an exclusive interview with the High’s Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Michael Rooks. The conversation coincides with the High’s exhibition Alex Katz, This Is Now.