Alex Katz, Couple, 1996.
Alex Katz (born 1927, Brooklyn, New York) is often hailed as one of the precursors to Pop Art, though his aesthetic is perhaps more closely aligned with such poets as Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery than with other painters of his generation. His unique oeuvre, which now spans some 70 years, is utterly devoted to the representation of the here and now and the immediacy of human perception—a commitment to what the artist has often described as “painting in the present tense.” Working variously en plein air, from photographic sources, and from his own sketches and preparatory drawings, he has focused his attention on subject matter from his immediate milieu: portraits of family (in particular his wife Ada) and friends, artistic collaborators and scenes of social interaction, landscapes and architectural scenes, and flowers. Throughout, Katz’s sensitivity for painterly surfaces plays out in productive tension with the formal languages of film, fashion, and advertising.
(Photo courtesy of and © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018.)