Alex Katz works out every morning before he paints. This has been his routine, seven days a week, for decades, and his body of work is prolific.
Not only has Katz not slowed down at age 91, he somehow managed to write a book…in his spare time.
Looking at Art With Alex Katz
Looking at Art With Alex Katz is a 208-page, lavishly illustrated book, in which he gives his concise, no-nonsense opinions about 90 great artists, both dead and alive. The book opens with a photograph of Chauvet Cave paintings and then goes on, in alphabetical order of artist, from Fra Angelico to Frank Lloyd Wright.
Looking at Art with Alex Katz feels like taking a stroll through a museum with the artist, while listening to his erudite quips.
Katz gives his first impression of Mona Lisa in less than one hundred words.
“When I first saw Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, I was disappointed in it. The actual, physical painting didn’t seem to be particularly interesting… At first, it’s the smile they talk about, but you realize that the smile is frozen. It’s the eyes that are alive. Finally, it seemed as if it was Leonardo looking through a mask at you. It was a crazy experience and if I could have that experience, I’m sure other people have too.”
Looking at Art with Alex Katz, published by London-based publisher Laurence King, was released on October 30, 2018.
Alex Katz Sculptures at the Surovek Gallery
In 1959, Alex Katz painted figures on canvas, cut out the figures and mounted them on wood. Playwright Kenneth Koch saw the figures at an exhibit and asked Katz to construct the props and sets for his one-act play George Washington Crossing the Delaware, a satire that was produced off-Broadway in 1961.
Katz created life sized, figurative sculptures, which shared the stage with the play’s actors. The figures are now part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Alex Katz Little Black Dress Sculptures and Silkscreens at Surovek Gallery
More than fifty years after creating the figures for Washington Crossing the Delaware, Alex Katz is still creating figurative sculptures, with one of his favorite themes: the little black dress.
Katz said that he wants each figure to “have energy that, like human beings, passes beyond the edges”. Thanks to his brushwork and skillful use of colors, he has achieved that feeling of energy in both his sculptures and silkscreens.
Please contact us if you would like more information about Yvonne, Carmen or any of the fine art work of Alex Katz available at the Surovek Gallery.
Interview: Alex Katz: The smartest people bought my work. The Guardian. October 20, 2018.