5th September – 5th October 2012
Timothy Taylor Gallery is to show the fifth solo show at the gallery by the renowned American artist Alex Katz. The exhibition will include a new series of portraits and still lifes.
Katz, now in his 85th year, is one of the most significant artists of his generation with a far-reaching influence over many of today?s most successful contemporary artists.
Katz?s distinctive minimal aesthetic, developed in New York in the 1950s before the emergence of Pop Art and as a reaction to the dominance of Abstract Expressionism, has been refined to a point of poetic harmony. His economy of line and nuanced use of colour speak of a confidence and clarity of vision established over his rich and pioneering career.
These portraits of family and friends, and still lifes of flowers purchased from street vendors near his New York studio, are characteristic of Katz?s apodictic mastery of his medium. These large-scale works are both deeply intimate and also icons of a resolute style.
Painted from life and in single sessions, there is an essential vitality and timelessness to the works. The subjects gaze evenly towards the viewer and simultaneously stand with their backs? turned – a casual shift of accustomed familiarity. White roses sit against flat fields of white and pale blue, threatening to dissolve in abstracted form and a uniformity of hue – a recurring element in Katz?s stylized images. As the artist has noted of these new works:
“You have to figure out the balance as you go along… I leave out a lot of the description. So we go into no-man?s land. You?re dealing with stuff that?s not descriptive; basically, a lot of it is just instinctive.”
Alex Katz has been the subject of over 200 solo exhibitions including: Alex Katz: Naked Beauty, Kestnergesellschaft Hannover (2011) – the first exhibition to focus on Katz?s nudes; The Albertina, Vienna (2010); The National Portrait Gallery, London (2010) and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1986). He has been exhibited in nearly 500 group shows internationally since 1951.
Throughout his career, Katz has been the recipient of numerous awards and his work is held in over 100 public collections worldwide. Recently, Anthony D?Offay donated a group of works by Katz to the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate, as part of the nationwide Artist?s Rooms project.
Alex Katz: Give Me Tomorrow is showing at Tate St Ives until 23rd September and will travel to Turner Contemporary, Margate, 6th October – 13th January, 2013.
A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies this exhibition.