Alex Katz: New York

Alex Katz: New York
August 1st 2007 by Charta
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"New York" brings together painter Alex Katz's most striking images of his hometown and the dear friends with which he made it his own. Coming of age during the triumph of the New York School of painting, Katz synthesized its influences with wide-ranging interests shared by many of the New York School poets. Of the more than 40 paintings and aquatints gathered here, many depict that distinguished circle, as well as the iconic skyline where they changed the world. Katz is best known as a painter of people, and the wide cross-section of portraits here demonstrates the variety he brings to the genre, along with dramatic variations in scale, abrupt cropping and subtle artifices such as luxuriant backdrops that turn out to be earlier Katz paintings. Along with an essay and interview, "New York" includes an extraordinary selection of poems from friends of the artist, including some of the most important American poets of the late twentieth century, among them Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, John Ashbery and Robert Creeley. Katz was born in Brooklyn in 1927 and studied at the Cooper Union and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His work has been the subject of nearly 200 international solo exhibitions.