NEW YORK.- The Gallery at The Park Avenue Bank presents Alex Katz: Early Paintings from the permanent collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, on view through May 4, 2007. Alex Katz: Early Paintings, These intimate and engaging paintings were all executed between 1949 and 1956 and are important not simply as beautiful works in themselves but also because they offer valuable insights into the artistís early influences and processes. They show Katz experimenting with and synthesizing different styles on the way to developing his own unique visual language. To this day, Katz begins each of his large-scale landscape paintings with small oil sketches produced directly on site in much the same way that these early works were created. The convergence of the abstract, formal properties of painting with representational subject matter remains a hallmark of his mature work.
Alex Katz came of age during the 1950s alongside the New York School of painters and poets. Today he is recognized as one of the pre-eminent artists of our time, known for his urbane and sophisticated portraits and his bold, transcendent, large-scale landscapes. Katz purchased a farmhouse near Lincolnville in the gorgeous mid-coast region of Maine in 1954. He has spent summers there ever since and many of the works in the exhibition were made in this location.
A fully illustrated catalog will accompany this exhibition with an essay by Helen Ashton Fisher, Senior Curator, The Farnsworth Art Museum.