THE HIGH: ALEX KATZ, THIS IS NOW
Alex Katz emerged in the 1950s as a figurative painter in an age of abstraction, challenging critics who shunned imagery in art, especially the figure. While rejecting Abstract Expressionism’s abandonment of imagery, Katz embraced its energy and formal logic. Although best known for his portraits, Katz has painted landscapes both inside the studio and in the out-of-doors since the beginning of his career.
Katz described his goal as the pursuit of capturing “quick things passing” in his work. Katz’s monumental landscape paintings are executed in what is now considered a signature style characterized by flattened planes of color, shallow pictorial space, and lean, reductive but acutely descriptive lines. In them, Katz seeks to convey the appearance of things as they are both felt and perceived in the “present tense,” the now.