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Gray is pleased to present Alex Katz and Vincent Katz in dialogue. In the conversation, the poet Vincent Katz and artist Alex Katz explore the artist’s long-time collaborative engagement with poets.


The exhibition is the first to highlight Katz’s deep interest in poetry and his connection to the poets of the New York School. In the early 1950s, as Alex Katz entered the art world and a new style of American poetry emerged, the painter found natural affinities to the poets in their shared interest in expressing contemporary living. As scholar Debra Bricker Balken states in her essay for the forthcoming exhibition publication, “Not only did he feel that its community was vibrant but also its denizens more attuned to the present, to the impulses of American life, and to articulating new languages that brazenly defied tradition by flaunting style over meaning. What Katz found so compelling about this scene was its complete disregard for aesthetic precedent, irreverence for an academy of poetry, and gravitation toward vernacular expression, where words were less pondered and possessed an immediacy that spoke of nowness.” The exhibition brings together works created over the past 60 years, including prints, portfolios, special-edition books, paintings, and unique cutouts, all of which center on Katz’s communion and intersection with poets throughout his career.