Alex Katz

Born: Brooklyn, New York

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“I thought to be an artist you had to be a genius or something. It was that 19th century idea…but with hard work, I got to be good.”

– Alex Katz

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American painter and graphic artist, best known for his unique REALIST style.

Trained at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, and then at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine from 1949-50. In 1972 he was awarded the Guggenheim Grant in Painting.

Alex Katz is one of the most important American artists to have emerged since 1950. Throughout his career, which now spans more than thirty years, Katz has produced a remarkable and impressive body of work that constitutes a unique aspect of modern realism.

In the words of Richard Marshall, Associate Curator of Exhibitions of the Whitney Museum of American Art: “Portraits have been the mainstay of Katz’s paintings since the late 1950’s – especially of his wife, Ada, son, Vincent, and a circle of friends composed of artists, poets, critics and dancers. Katz’s portraits form a new and distinctive type of realism in American art which combines aspects of both abstraction and representation. His work is characterized by flatly painted, dramatically cropped, oversize heads that recall movies, advertising and billboards. Katz’s concern is not with an emotional narrative, but with the style of portraiture – with giving the traditional genre to posed portraits an expansive, contemporary look.”