41 Facts About Alex Katz


Alex Katz was born on July 24,1927 and is an American figurative artist known for his paintings, sculptures, and prints.


Alex Katz studied at the Cooper Union and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.


Alex Katz is known for his flatness of color and form, economy of line, and cool emotional detachment.


Alex Katz has produced over 400 print editions and has exhibited in over 200 solo and 500 group exhibitions internationally.


Alex Katz was born July 24,1927, to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, as the son of an emigre who had lost a factory he owned in Russia to the Soviet revolution.


From 1946 to 1949 Alex Katz studied at the Cooper Union in New York, and from 1949 to 1950 he studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.


Alex Katz met Ada Del Moro, who had studied biology at New York University, at a gallery opening in 1957.

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In 1960, Alex Katz had his first son, Vincent Alex Katz.


Vincent Alex Katz had two sons, Isaac and Oliver, who have been the subjects of Alex Katz's paintings.


Alex Katz has admitted to destroying a thousand paintings during his first ten years as a painter in order to find his style.


Alex Katz is well known for his large paintings, whose bold simplicity and heightened colors are now seen as precursors to Pop Art.


Alex Katz's paintings are divided almost equally into the genres of portraiture and landscape.


Alex Katz's paintings are defined by their flatness of colour and form, their economy of line, and their cool but seductive emotional detachment.


Alex Katz then makes a small, detailed drawing in pencil or charcoal, with the subject returning, perhaps, for the artist to make corrections.


Alex Katz would continue painting these complex groups into the 1970s, portraying the social world of painters, poets, critics, and other colleagues that surrounded him.


Alex Katz began designing sets and costumes for choreographer Paul Taylor in the early 1960s, and he has painted many images of dancers throughout the years.


In 1965, Alex Katz embarked on a prolific career in printmaking.


Alex Katz would go on to produce many editions in lithography, etching, silkscreen, woodcut and linoleum cut, producing over 400 print editions in his lifetime.


In 1977, Alex Katz was asked to create a work to be produced in billboard format above Times Square, New York City.


Each portrait measured 20 feet high, and was based on a study Alex Katz did from life.


Alex Katz was commissioned in 1980 by the US General Services Administration's Art in Architecture Program to create an oil-on-canvas mural in the new United States Attorney's Building at Foley Square, New York City.


In 2005, Alex Katz participated in a public art project titled "Paint in the City", commissioned by United Technologies Corporation and organized by Creative Time.


Alex Katz' work, titled Give Me Tomorrow, reached 28 feet tall and 53 feet long on a billboard space above the Bowery Bar.


Alex Katz has collaborated with poets and writers since the 1960s, producing several notable editions such as "Face of the Poet" combining his images with poetry from his circle, such as Ted Berrigan, Ann Lauterbach, Carter Ratcliff, and Gerard Malanga.


Alex Katz has worked with the poet John Ashbery, creating publications entitled "Fragment" in 1966 and "Coma Berenices".

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Alex Katz has worked with Vincent Katz on "A Tremor in the Morning" and "Swimming Home".


Alex Katz made 25 etchings for the Arion Press edition of Gloria with 28 poems by Bill Berkson.


Alex Katz Seeing Drawing, Making, published in 2008, describes Katz's multiple-stage process of first producing charcoal drawings, small oil studies, and large cartoons for placing the image on the canvas and the final painting of the canvas.


In 1989, a special edition of Parkett was devoted to Alex Katz, showing that he is considered a major reference for younger painters and artists.


Since 1951, Alex Katz's work has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally.


Alex Katz' first one-person show was an exhibition of paintings at the Roko Gallery in New York in 1954.


In 1974 the Whitney Museum of American Art showed Alex Katz Prints, followed by a traveling retrospective exhibition of paintings and cutouts titled Alex Katz in 1986.


The subject of over 200 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group shows internationally, Alex Katz has since been honored with numerous retrospectives at museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Jewish Museum, New York; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Colby College Museum of Art, Maine; Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden; Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice; Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga; and the Saatchi Gallery, London.


The prints of Alex Katz are distributed in Europe by Galerie Frank Fluegel in Nuremberg.


In 2011, Alex Katz donated Rush, a series of 37 painted life-size cutout heads on aluminum, to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the piece is installed, frieze-like, in its own space.


In 1978, Alex Katz received a US government grant to participate in an educational and cultural exchange with the USSR.


Alex Katz was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for Painting in 1972.


Alex Katz was inducted by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1988, and recognized with honorary doctorates by Colby College, Maine, and Colgate University, Hamilton, New York.


Alex Katz was named the Philip Morris Distinguished Artist at the American Academy in Berlin in 2001 and received the Cooper Union Annual Artist of the City Award in 2000.


In 2005, Alex Katz was the honored artist at the Chicago Humanities Festival's Inaugural Richard Gray Annual Visual Arts Series.


Alex Katz' work is said to have influenced many painters, such as David Salle, Helena Wurzel, Peter Halley and Richard Prince, as well as younger artists like Peter Doig, Julian Opie, Liam Gillick, Elizabeth Peyton, Barb Januszkiewicz, Johan Andersson, and Brian Alfred.