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Alex Katz (American, b.b. 1927)


Birth Place: Brooklyn (New York state, United States)

Born in 1927 in Brooklyn, NY, Alex Katz would grow up to be one of the fundamental names associated with the Pop art movement.

His breadth of work ranges from painting to sculpting and printings, and his influence has spread throughout many galleries in the USA as well as in many other countries. Katz received academic training in classical life painting that would heavily influence his work, even though he eventually pursued more experimentalist approaches.

Katz only achieved massive notoriety when he was over 50 years old. Regardless, he has been a fiercely prolific artistic all his life. He once claimed to have ruined over a thousand paintings during his twenties, until he eventually managed to find his own style and started gaining recognition for it. He would eventually become known for his gigantic paintings that showed an elegant simplicity and striking colors, which would earn him popularity as one of the early precursors to Pop art.

Most of his body of work is split evenly between portraiture and landscape art. His favored subjects include views from his area of residence in SoHo, as well as natural scenes from Maine where he spent most of his summers. He painted over 250 portraits of his wife Ada Katz, who remains his most recurrent subject. He tended to draw those close to him - from family members to people from his favored social circles.

Some of the best known works by Katz include public billboards like 1977 Times Square Mural and “flat life-size sculptures” that he painted in surfaces ranging from aluminum to plywood.

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