This is an artistic direction from the 1950s, which was a reaction to the consumer way of life led by society at that time, a style which works with motifs of everyday items and which is fascinated with the culture of the big city. Artists create luxury large-format pictures in bright or dull colours with a tendency to capture specific reality in a comprehensible manner.
In the 1980s, Alex Katz profiled himself as a painter of “cool painting”, experimenting with innovative painting procedures and creating his signature style of painting and drawing.
We often find figurative motifs in his pictures. Figures of people who surrounded him in the public space or groups of friends and his family. He stands on the border between reality and abstraction, affects his audience with his cold emotionality verging on aloofness, rationality or sensuality. Apart from the figurative motif, he also focused on the animal kingdom, in particular in drawing or simple sketching.
He mastered various types of graphic design, from lithography all the way through to screen printing and wood carving. He also flirted with fashion design or a while.
He was captivated by the landscape feature in the 90s, a feature which he characterises as the environment. This is why the audience is surrounded by nature in his large-format canvases and drawn into the picture. From 1986 onwards, he started to paint luxury night scenes, leaving behind the multicoloured natural world and immersing himself in a study of light.
At the start of the new millennium, a floral motif appeared in his pictures, the luxury pictures literally packed with huge blooms. He has recently been painting various dancers in different positions, his work growing and developing.
His work has been the subject of more than 200 separate exhibitions and almost 500 group exhibitions on an international level. In 2010, his graphic work was exhibited at the Albertina Museum in Vienna. The National Portrait Gallery in London presented an exhibition entitled Alex Katz Portraits. The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland displayed the artist’s latest pictures, inspired by summer in Maine. Last but not least, his works were for example on show in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, bearing the name “Facing the Figure: Selections from the Permanent Collection, 2010”.
His work is certainly a thing of luxury to behold.