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Alex Katz

American, b. 1927

Flat color and minimal forms contrast the often monumental scales of the paintings by Alex Katz through which he creates portraits and landscapes of deceptive simplicity. Although the signature stark style that defines his prints and other work is now recognizable at a glance, it took him a decade to develop. During that time, he has said he destroyed hundreds of paintings.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, to Russian émigré parents, Katz’s family moved to Queens when he was a baby and that is where his family’s passion for the arts supported his early creative interests. In 1946, he enrolled at the Cooper Union in Manhattan where he studied painting under Morris Kantor. While he was influenced by the bold colors and hard edges of modernism, he shifted away from the then-dominant Abstract Expressionism movement to figurative scenes of life that have an inherent cool in their pared-down approach. Especially impactful were Katz’s summer studies between 1949 and 1950 at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, a place where, as he later wrote: “I tried plein air painting and found my subject matter and a reason to devote my life to painting.”

Katz’s first solo show was in 1954 at Roko Gallery in New York. He experimented over the course of the following years with collage and painting on aluminum sheets, with his work in the 1960s drawing inspiration from film and advertising. In the 1970s, Katz expanded into portrait groups that regularly depicted the cultural scene of New York; in the 1980s, he extended his focus to fashion and its supermodels. Since the late 1950s, an enduring muse for his portraits has been his wife, Ada, while others have painted friends and famous figures. The intimate closeness of the frequently cropped faces in Katz’s portraits exudes a sense of tension with the subjects’ enigmatic expressions and planes of color.

In the 1960s, Katz collaborated with American dancer and choreographer Paul Taylor on sets and costumes. His concentration on landscapes emerged in the late 1980s, with atmospheric night views joining his practice, which had previously been defined by bright colors. Always finding new perspectives on his work, he has explored using iPhone photographs as the basis for large-scale compositions in recent years.

Katz’s prolific career has spanned sculpture, prints and public art along with his paintings and drawings, and his works can be found in the collections of leading museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and Museum of Modern Art. He has had over 250 solo exhibitions around the world and continues to be acclaimed. In 2022, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opened a major retrospective of his art.

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$4,882
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Alex Katz Private Domain 1970 (announcement card)
By Alex Katz
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Alex Katz “Private Domain” announcement card 1970: Rare vintage Alex Katz announcement card published on the occasion of 'Alex Katz New Paintings' Fi...
Category

1970s Pop Art Alex Katz

Materials

Lithograph, Offset

Blue Coat
By Alex Katz
Located in New York, NY
Image size: 24 x 12 inches Edition of 30
Category

1990s Alex Katz

Materials

Aquatint

Blue Coat
H 36.875 in W 23.875 in
Self-portrait (Passing), 1990, Screenprint by Alex Katz (Limited Edition of 150)
By Alex Katz
Located in Hong Kong, HK
Self-Portrait (Passing) (1990) A rare and historic lithograph by Alex Katz signed and numbered by the artist. Image, sheet 82.6 x 91.4 cm. unframed Edition 56/150 This screenprint,...
Category

1990s Pop Art Alex Katz

Materials

Paper, Screen

Red Grooms and Elizabeth Ross (From the Pas de Deux Portfolio)
By Alex Katz
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Alex Katz (b. 1927) Red Grooms and Elizabeth Ross (From the Pas de Deux Portfolio) 1993-1994 (92/150) Screenprint in colors on Arches Cover 36 x 20 in
Category

1980s Contemporary Alex Katz

Materials

Screen

Alex Katz 'Joan' Aquatint Portrait in Seven Colors 1986
By Alex Katz
Located in Miami, FL
ALEX KATZ (1927-Present) Aquatint in colors, 1986, on Somerset, signed in pencil, numbered 20/65 (the edition was 65 plus 7 artist's proofs), published by Crown Point Press, San Fra...
Category

1970s Contemporary Alex Katz

Materials

Aquatint

Alex Katz 'Nancy' Aquatint and Etching on Arches Signed Portrait Print 1972
By Alex Katz
Located in Miami, FL
ALEX KATZ (1927-Present) This Alex Katz print 'Nancy' is an aquatint and etching on Arches, published in 1972 . It is signed and numbered 41/50 in pencil, lower left. Printed by Hi...
Category

1970s Contemporary Alex Katz

Materials

Etching, Aquatint

Ada 8 - From the Ada Portfolio
By Alex Katz
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Alex Katz (b. 1927) Ada 8 — From the ADA Portfolio, 2022, (/100) Silkscreen in colors on Saunders Waterford High White HP 425 gsm paper 40.50 x 54 in (102.87 x 137.16 cm)
Category

2010s Contemporary Alex Katz

Materials

Screen

Ada 2 - From the Ada Portfolio
By Alex Katz
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Alex Katz (b. 1927) Ada 2 — From the ADA Portfolio, 2022, (/100) Silkscreen in colors on Saunders Waterford High White HP 425 gsm paper 40.50 x 54 in (102.87 x 137.16 cm)
Category

2010s Contemporary Alex Katz

Materials

Screen

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Alex Katz art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Alex Katz art available for sale on 1stDibs. If you’re browsing the collection of art to introduce a pop of color in a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of blue, orange, red and other colors. You can also browse by medium to find art by Alex Katz in screen print, pigment print, archival pigment print and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 21st century and contemporary and is mostly associated with the contemporary style. Not every interior allows for large Alex Katz art, so small editions measuring 6 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Andrew Moore, Donald Sultan, and Raphael Macek. Alex Katz art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $290 and tops out at $250,000, while the average work can sell for $14,989.
Questions About Alex Katz
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Alex Katz is a contemporary artist who produced paintings, sculptures and prints. Many historians associate him with the Nouveau réalisme movement, but he also worked in figurative and Pop art styles. Shop a collection of Alex Katz art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 16, 2024
    What media Alex Katz uses varies. Over the course of his career, the American artist has worked in painting, sculpture and printmaking. Always finding new perspectives on his work, he has explored using iPhone photographs as the basis for large-scale compositions in recent years. On 1stDibs, shop an assortment of Alex Katz art.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMay 3, 2024
    Yes, Alex Katz's style is Pop art. During the 1950s, he experimented with collage and painting on aluminum sheets, with his later work in the 1960s drawing inspiration from film and advertising. In the 1970s, Katz expanded into portrait groups that regularly depicted the cultural scene of New York. In the 1980s, he extended his focus to fashion and its supermodels. These sources of inspiration align with Pop art's focus on transforming elements of popular culture into fine art. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of Alex Katz art.

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