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Major exhibition at Turner Contemporary brings together a selection of Alex Katz' works
Alex Katz, Eleuthera 1984. Oil on linen, 305 x 670.5 cm. Private Collection, Courtesy Galería Javier López, Madrid© Alex Katz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
MARGATE.- This autumn, the remarkable work of one of America’s most important and respected living artists comes to Margate.

Alex Katz was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1927 and his prolific career spans an incredible six decades. This major exhibition at Turner Contemporary brings together a selection of Katz’s works from the 1950s to now, including paintings, collages and a 3D cut-out.

Katz often works with classical themes of portraiture, landscape, beach scenes and flowers. His paintings are bright, bold and capture an everyday America of easy living, leisure and recreation.

To reflect Turner Contemporary’s seaside location, the exhibition places a special emphasis on Katz’s seascapes and beach scenes, as well as images of family holidays and friends painted in his seaside retreat of Lincolnville, Maine, where he continues to spend his summers.

Victoria Pomery, Director of Turner Contemporary said – ‘Alex Katz is one of the foremost artists of his generation and we are thrilled to have this exhibition at Turner Contemporary. His work is vibrant, thoughtful and very relevant to our seaside location – I am sure that visitors will love this exhibition and his selection of great paintings from the Tate Collection.’

Katz’s paintings are defined by their flatness of colour and form, their economy of line, and their cool but seductive emotional detachment. Working with classical themes of portraiture, landscape, seascape, figure studies and flowers, many of Katz’s works picture an everyday America of easy living, leisure and recreation. Influenced as much by style, fashion and music as he is art history, he remains a very classical painter, working in the tradition of European and American artists like Manet, Matisse, and Hopper.

Katz began exhibiting in the 1950s, emerging at a time when Abstract Expressionism was still the dominant force in American art. Whilst his interests were firmly based in the previous generation of artists including Pollock, Rothko, Guston and De Kooning, his own painting developed in reaction to their work, and he is acknowledged as a hugely influential precursor to the Pop Art movement with which he became associated throughout the 1960s.

Katz has created an unmistakable language and has remained a prolific painter and an influential and important figure for generations of artists, including now senior painters like David Salle, Peter Halley and Richard Prince, as well as younger artists like Peter Doig and Elizabeth Peyton.





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October 8, 2012

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