Alex Katz has always had his own direction, and it has not been the direction of mainstream art in any of the last seven decades. In the 1950s, when most of the serious art being done was abstract, Katz angered scores of artists and formalist critics by inventing new ways to paint the human figure.
Alex Katz described the moment he got the courage to follow his own path artistically; “I was intimidated by the 19th century idea of genius and I knew I was no genius; I thought you had to be a genius to be a painter or forget it. I think Picasso had doubts about whether he was a genius instead of accepting he was a great painter.” Alex Katz continued, “I dealt with the fear of genius when I got connected with myself, with the outdoor paintings I was doing. I felt such a rush and I thought I don’t care anymore. I thought I’m going flat out for this. I’m not going to teach and I’m certainly not going to be a commercial artist.
Today, Katz's popularity is exploding. His quintessentially American evocations of people at cocktail parties or the beach and his landscapes of Maine took off in Europe. The painter has also found a substantial new audience at home in the United States. As figurative painting made a comeback in the late '80s and '90s, a younger generation of artists began to see Katz with new appreciation.
His flat, bright figures have an everyday quality that links them to commercial art and popular culture. As much as people like to project all kinds of meaning onto his works, they are, he says, about the “immediate present,” the brief moment when you look at something and just see.”
Straw Hat 2 (2022) by Alex Katz is an archival pigment ink print on 315 gsm paper. Straw Hat 2 is signed in pencil and is an edition of 100. For more information about Alex Katz or Straw Hat 2 please contact the gallery. Call for Value