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Gallery Talk with John Yau and Ivy Wilson

On the occasion of Grass and Trees, a solo presentation of recent landscape paintings by Alex Katz, poet and critic John Yau will join art historian and literary critic Ivy Wilson in conversation to discuss Katz's new body of work. The gallery talk will take place at Gray Warehouse on Saturday, April 14 at 12 PM.

Alex Katz was approaching his 90th birthday when he began a new series of landscapes radically different from his earlier work. More loosely painted and expressively realized than any work to date, Grass and Trees debuts large-scale paintings which draw inspiration from three motifs – grasses, roads, and trees. Prompted by the immediacy of nature outside his studio in Maine, these landscapes, like vignettes, are swift, evocative, and specific. As Yau notes in his catalogue essay, "... the size of these paintings is immersive. They recall Pollock’s panoramic drip paintings, which ignored the canvas’s physical edges and seemed to extend beyond the painting’s actual limits. You are not looking at a landscape; you are in it.”

Grass and Trees opens Thursday, April 12 from 6-8PM and is the artist’s sixth exhibition with Richard Gray Gallery.

John Yau is an American poet and critic who lives in New York City. He received his B.A. from Bard College in 1972 and his M.F.A. from Brooklyn College in 1978. He has published over 50 books of poetry, artists' books, fiction, and art criticism. His recent books include a selection of essays, The Wild Children of William Blake (2017) and a book of poetry, Bijoux in the Dark (2018). He is the author of monographs on Philip Taaffe (2018), Thomas Nozkowski (2017) and Catherine Murphy (2016). He writes regularly for the online magazine Hyperallergic Weekend, teaches at Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University), and runs a small press, Black Square Editions. Yau is also a contributing essayist for Grass and Trees' exhibition catalogue.

Ivy Wilson works at Northwestern University where he is Director of American Studies, and Associate Professor in the departments of English and Art, Theory, and Practice. He has published widely in American poetry on figures ranging from Walt Whitman to Kevin Young. He is currently writing a series of three essays on post-socialist aesthetics in contemporary art.