Richard Gray Gallery Presents “Flowers”

Alex Katz: Flowers

NOVEMBER 11, 2019 - JANUARY 10, 2020

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.”

About the Artist

Alex Katz (American, b. 1927) is one of the most recognized and widely exhibited artists of his generation.

Often associated with the Pop Art movement, Katz began exhibiting his work in 1954, and since that time has produced an iconic body of work including paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints.

His earliest work took inspiration from multiple facets of mid-century American culture and aesthetics, including television, film, and advertising, and over the past five and a half decades he has established himself as a preeminent painter of contemporary life, whose distinctive portraits and lyrical landscapes bear a flattened surface and consistent economy of line.

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