Alex Katz - Biography
Alex Katz is an American artist known for his large-scale “wet into wet” oil paintings. Primarily depicting landscapes, flowers, and portraits, Katz’s flat planes of rich color and smooth application are his trademarks. “We compete for audiences, as artists. I'm competing with the Abstract Expressionist guys. I'll knock ‘em off the wall,” he once famously remarked. “If you put my work next to an aggressive A.E. painting, I'll eat most of ‘em up. And I want to compete with the kids. I'm there with the kids.” Born on July 24, 1927 in Brooklyn, NY, he attended the Cooper Union School of Art and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture as a young man. During the mid-1950s, Katz fell into the small circle of artists known as the 10th Street scene, which included Lois Dodd, Larry Rivers, and Fairfield Porter among others. Over the following decades, the artist developed the finished less expressive quality for which he is now lauded. Though never directly involved with the Pop Art movement—his engagement with mid-century advertising warrants the association. Having achieved widespread critical acclaim and commercial success, his work serves as a beacon to younger generations of figurative artists, including Elizabeth Peyton and Julian Opie. Katz maintains residences in Lincolnville, ME, and New York, NY. Today, his works are included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tate Gallery in London, and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., among others.