Alex Katz: Just Painting Masterpieces

Painting seems an old man’s business. After a certain time you’re out of it, and you just paint masterpieces. – Alex Katz

Alex Katz: Gathering at the Guggenheim

Alex Katz made an appearance at the opening of his retrospective at the Guggenheim on Friday, October 21st. The 95-year-old artist wore a white suit and yellow tie and received a long ovation from the crowd of admirers.

The rave reviews and accolades Alex Katz received from critics were well deserved after his long career choice of ignoring trends and creating a body of work that reflects his unique style.

Washington Post critic, Sebastian Smee, said that he never understood the work of Alex Katz: “Thankfully, Katz, who turned 95 this summer, wasn’t waiting for me or for anyone else to come around.” Smee wrote, “He had already struck aesthetic gold in the 1960s with his deadpan, Pop-inspired yet obstinately painterly portraits and his disarming painted cutouts. He was a commercial success. Better yet, the people whose opinions he valued most — friends who were poets, dancers, filmmakers, fellow painters — adored his work.”

“That’s partly why the Alex Katz retrospective at the Guggenheim feels uncannily of the moment, maybe even predestined.” Smee added, “More than Hilma af Klint, more than Kandinsky, more than Tino Sehgal or Matthew Barney, this is the show Frank Lloyd Wright’s airy spiral has been waiting for all its life.”

Artforum’s Linda Yablonsky wrote, “No matter where one looked or from what height or distance, every single canvas was legible and animated enough to make Frank Lloyd Wright sit up in his grave.”

Alex Katz
Sharon from Black Dress, 2017
Aluminum Sculpture, double sided
22.88 inches high
Edition: 10/35
Signed: Alex Katz
For sale at Surovek Gallery

Part of the allure, and success of the show, is Katz’s New York style that fits so well into the Guggenheim’s galleries. His large, aluminum sculptures blended right in with the crowd of opening nighters.

The consummate New Yorker, Katz was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, studied art at Cooper Union and has lived and worked in his SoHo studio since 1968.

Alex Katz
Ariel Black and White, 2016
2 – color silkscreen on Saunders 425 gsm paper
36 x 76 inches
Edition 23/ 40
For sale at Surovek Gallery

Just before the opening of the retrospective, Katz was interviewed on CBS by Anthony Mason in a segment called Painter Alex Katz reflects on 77-year-career. The interview, though only about six minutes long, manages to touch on much of Katz’s career and how he views the praise he is now receiving.

It isn’t as though Alex Katz has been ignored; His works are included in major museums around the world. Apparently, the critics have just been slow to catching up to the 95-year-old artist.

Alex Katz: Gathering will be on display at the Guggenheim through Feb. 20, 2023.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Alex Katz available at Surovek Gallery.

Sebastian See. At 95, Alex Katz is having another moment. His Guggenheim show is a knockout. The Washington Post. October 29, 2022.
Gabe Hirschowitz. A the Guggenheim, A Major Alex Katz Retrospective Finds the Light. Vogue. October 25, 2022.
Roberta Smith. Alex Katz: Six Ramps of a Painter’s Progress. The New York Times/Art & Design. October 20, 2022.
Herding Katz: Linda Yablonsky at the opening of “Alex Katz: Gathering”. ArtForum. October 26, 2022.
Brian Seibert. ‘Oh, I’ll Show You’: Paul Taylor and Alex Katz’s Long Collaboration. The New York Times/Dance. October 28, 2022.
Tom McGlynn. Alex Katz: Gathering. The Brooklyn Rail. November 2022.
2022-11-07T14:41:51-05:00 October 31st, 2022|

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