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Alex Katz

Flowers

December 2019

Alex Katz
Alex Katz
Alex Katz
Alex Katz
Alex Katz
Alex Katz
Alex Katz
Alex Katz
Alex Katz

Description

Alex Katz: Flowers
November 11, 2019 - January 10, 2020
Poem by James Schuyler
Published by Richard Gray Gallery
Hardcover, 68 pages, English

 

$30
Ships from Chicago
PURCHASE

Gray is pleased to announce the release of a special publication produced on the occasion of the recent exhibition, Alex Katz: Flowers. Showcasing Katz’s large-scale Iris paintings alongside a series of intimate studies on board, the catalogue provides a closer look at the artist's dedicated interest in painting the natural environment. Created at his studio in Maine, Katz's Iris paintings recall his first encounter with working en plein air in 1949 at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. The publication offers detailed illustrations for each of the 13 works in the exhibition, and includes the poem "Salute" by James Schuyler. 

 

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Widely acclaimed for his graphic portraiture and expansive landscapes, American artist Alex Katz showcases a new body of Iris oil paintings that continue his dedicated interest in the natural environment. This exhibition highlights the artist’s process by showing Katz’s intimately scaled painting studies alongside his larger works. Here, Katz depicts his floral subjects in tightly cropped compositions, deftly distilled down to their fundamental components. Created at the artist’s studio in Maine, the Iris paintings recall his first encounter with painting en plein air in 1949 at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Painting studies are paramount to Katz’s studio practice, as he works from life when drafting them in an effort to capture the fleeting inspirational moment. Only after refining the studies to convey the essence of his subjects does Katz translate the compositions to a larger canvas. This technique, poet and critic John Yau confirms, is “Katz’s way of staying true to the shock of the original perception… His subject is the present tense of seeing, not something recollected in tranquility.”

Within this focused exhibition, Katz’s Irises are depicted in his signature style—flower petals appear as splashes of yellow among broad criss-crossing strokes of blue-green stems, all overlaid on lively backgrounds of pink, orange, or green. Blending formal aspects of abstraction and representation, Katz allows each composition to operate as both an intimate still life and an enveloping landscape that, as author and critic Calvin Tomkins describes, "make us see the world the way he sees it, clear and up close, with all but the most essential details pared away.”

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