10:30 am | Alex Katz | Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa
Past exhibition

Alex Katz (born Brooklyn, 1927) is a painter whose work is both securely fixed in the canon of postwar American art and in the vanguard of painting today. He emerged in the 1950s as a figurative painter in an age of abstraction, challenging critics who shunned imagery in art, especially the figure. While rejecting Abstract Expressionism’s abandonment of imagery, Katz embraced its energy and formal logic.Katz sought to achieve a fast, physically active painting inspired by the dance-like action of Jackson Pollock, whose allover compositions were a revelation. Katz described his goal as the pursuit of capturing “quick things passing” in his work. Painting in what is now considered a signature style characterized by flattened planes of color, shallow pictorial space, and lean, reductive but acutely descriptive lines, Katz sought to convey the appearance of things as they are both felt and perceived in the “present tense,” the now.

Although best known for his portraits, Katz has painted landscapes both inside the studio and in the out-of-doors since the beginning of his career. Alex Katz, This Is Now explores the development of landscape in Katz’s career, from a seminal subject in his earliest work to its prominence in Katz’s art of the last twenty-five years.

Alex Katz
Sunset 1, 2008
Oil on linen
274.3 x 213.4 cm
Courtesy of the artist


Captura de pantalla 2021 02 18 a las 12 31 20

1946-49 Studies at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York.

1949-50 Studies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine.

More about the artist

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If you visit the exhibition you can enjoy an audiovisual screening showing Alex Katz as he creates, working in his study and producing January 3, also currently on display in gallery 105.
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