Alex Katz (American, b. 1927)

Katz is best known for his large-scale portraits and landscapes. He often uses elements of Pop Art like simple, brilliantly colored, flat backgrounds which makes the figure especially distinctive. In the 1960s, he cropped parts of faces out of his paintings. His rendering of Alice Esty almost looks like a graphic from a poster, portraying her as elegantly modern.

Katz was born in a Russian immigrant family in 1927 in Brooklyn, New York. He entered The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in Manhattan in 1946, and then was awarded a scholarship for summer study at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Katz’s works have been the subject of more than 250 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group exhibitions internationally since 1951, and can be found in over 100 museums. He was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for Painting in 1972. In 1978, Katz received a US Government grant to participate in an educational and cultural exchange with the USSR.