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Alex Katz

Revised and Expanded


Alex Katz (b.1927), a key New York-based artist since the early 1960s, is a towering figure in contemporary painting


Carter Ratcliff, Robert Storr and Iwona Blazwick


Editions:

Price: USD$69.95

Alex Katz first emerged on the New York art scene during the heyday of Abstract Expressionism and before the birth of Pop art, but always worked independently of these movements. Katz is best known for his distinctive portraits of sophisticated, irresistible women, masterfully painted using precise, broad areas of colour. Alongside these unmistakably ‘Katzian’ female portraits are pictures of men, groups, landscapes and interiors, rendered in paint on canvas or metal cut-outs as well as drawing and collage. All attest to the artist’s attention to detail, economy of means and consummate technique.

Larger-than-life paintings such as The Black Dress (1960), Blue Umbrella (1972), Red Coat (1982) and White Visor (2003) have entered the collective consciousness as the epitome of a particular, late twentieth-century feminine ideal. A major touring retrospective was organized by New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art in 1986, and Katz has exhibited widely all over the world. His works are in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate, London; the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris; and the Nationalgalerie, Berlin, among many others.

A leading world expert on Katz, distinguished New York art critic Carter Ratcliff writes the definitive, comprehensive Survey, following Katz’s work from the 1950s to the present. In the Interview New York-based curator and critic Robert Storr discusses in detail with the artist his practice and technique in the context of a changing art world. Curator Iwona Blazwick enters in her Focus the silent world of Sylvia (1962-63), a classic Katz portrait that resonates with the urban landscape occupied by both artist and sitter. For Artist’s Choice Katz has selected nine works by New York School Poets, all of whom share a particular, often personal connection to his work. Artist’s Writings range from an early text from 1959 on Katz’s dislike of the term ‘academy’ to a recent text that reflects on his beginnings as an artist. Key interviews with some of the of the twentieth century’s most prestigious art figures – including critic David Sylvester and artists Francesco Clemente, Jane Freilicher and Richard Prince – are also included.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Format: Hardback
Size: 290 x 250 mm (11 3/8 x 9 7/8 in)
Pages: 336 pp
Illustrations: 330 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714867403

Carter Ratcliff is a poet and an art critic. His books include Give Me Tomorrow (1983), a collection of poems with illustrations by Alex Katz; John Singer Sargent (1983); The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Postwar American Art (1998); and Out of the Box: The Reinvention of Art 1965-1975 (2000). He was awarded the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism, College Art Association, in 1987, and is a leading world expert on Alex Katz.

Robert Storr is Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Formerly Senior Curator at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2004 he curated the 5th SITE Sante Fe Biennial in New Mexico. He was a contributing author to Phaidon's Louise Bourgeois (2003), Raymond Pettibon (2001) and Robert Mangold (2000) and has written regularly for magazines such as Artforum, Art in America, Frieze and Parkett.

Iwona Blazwick is Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, London. As Head of Exhibitions and Display at Tate Modern, London (1997-2001), as Director of Exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1986-92), and as an independent curator, she has realized many international exhibitions of modern and contemporary art and has published texts on numerous living artists. From 1993-97 she was Commissioning Editor for Contemporary Art at Phaidon Press.

Barry Schwabsky is a London-based writer. Currently International Reviews Editor at Artforum and Art Critic at The Nation, he has contributed to numerous art publications, including Phaidon's Jessica Stockholder (1995) and Vitamin P (2002), and is the author of The Widening Circle: The Consequences of Modernism in Contemporary Art (1997), as well as several volumes of poetry. He has taught at Yale, New York University and Goldsmiths, among other institutions.

"Katz's art combines the eye-jarring quality of Matisse with a distinctively American cool."—Independent

On the Contemporary Artists Series

"The boldest, best executed, and most far-reaching publishing project devoted to contemporary art. These books will revolutionize the way contemporary art is presented and written about."—Artforum

"The combination of intelligent analysis, personal insight, useful facts and plentiful pictures is a superb format invaluable for specialists but also interesting for casual readers, it makes these books a must for the library of anyone who cares about contemporary art."—Time Out

"A unique series of informative monographs on individual artists."—The Sunday Times

"Gives the reader the impression of a personal encounter with the artists. Apart from the writing which is lucid and illuminating, it is undoubtedly the wealth of lavish illustrations which makes looking at these books a satisfying entertainment."—The Art Book

"Katz's art combines the eye-jarring quality of Matisse with a distinctively American cool."—Independent

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