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Press Release

Chicago - April 24 through May 30

Chicago - Richard Gray Gallery, located at 875 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, is pleased to present Alex Katz: New Paintings & Drawings, on display from April 25 through May 30, 2003. The public is invited to preview the exhibition and meet the artist on Thursday, April 24 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Included in this exhibition are major examples of Mr. Katz's portraits and landscapes as well as intimate drawings of friends, but the central work is a monumental beach scene painting that has occupied the artist for much of the past year. Multiple studies for many of the paintings will also be on exhibit, showing the artist's working process from drawing to oil study to final composition.

Alex Katz was born in New York in 1927 and began his training in art in 1946 at Cooper Union in New York City, continuing in 1949 at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Strongly influenced by the Abstract Expressionists, most significantly Jackson Pollock, Katz's early 1950's subjects already included portraits and stands of trees. He soon began painting more colorful, sometimes collaged works; landscapes often with figures and interiors. In 1954, Katz enjoyed his first one-person show at Roko Gallery, New York, emerging as one of America's most important artists. By the late 1950's he was painting his famous portraits. These portraits, mainly of his wife Ada, son Vincent and friends, combined characteristics of both abstraction and representation. He introduced a more realistic quality in his paintings in the 1960's, rejecting his earlier fascination with Abstract Expressionism in favor of a more emotionless style. His approach from this point on favored a smoother, more monotone quality.

Katz's paintings with their unique style of "modern realism" have appeared in numerous museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Hiroshima City Museum in Hiroshima, Japan and The Tate Gallery in London, England. Most recently he had major exhibitions at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, as well as The Arts Club of Chicago.

Featured Works

Ada on Stairs, 2002
Berlin, 2001 Oil on canvas
Four People Walking, 2002
Four People with Towel, 2002
Lara, 2002 Oil on board
Leora, 2002 Oil on board
Maria, 1996 Pencil on paper
Red Glove, 2003
Two Figures Facing Bay, 2002
Two Girls Walking, 2002
Walking on the Beach, 2002
Yellow and Blue, 2001