Cultured Magazine

June/July 2015

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166 CULTURED A lex Katz is not slowing down. On the contrary, he's enjoying a revival of sorts as he juggles three concurrent exhibitions—"Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s" at the Colby College Museum of Art in Maine, "Alex Katz, This Is Now" at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and "Alex Katz: Landscapes" at Gavin Brown's Enterprise in New York—all opening over a three-month stretch. The exhibitions have been all consuming, yet the prolific octogenarian artist has even managed to find time to create canvases for windows and produce a home collection in partnership with Art Production Fund, which was showcased at Barney's New York this spring. "He enjoys the company he keeps by being represented by Gavin Brown. It's a younger crowd, and it's given him a different kind of visibility," says Colby College Museum of Art curator Diana Tuite, alluding to Katz's prior representation at the blue-chip Pace Gallery, where he showed for nearly 10 years. With all three shows happening simultaneously, the artist's work might appear redundant, yet Katz has maintained a fluid ever-changing style throughout his illustrious career. The son of Russian émigrés, Katz grew up in a house in Queens, New York, where the rooms were painted various shades of yellow, green, violet, pink and maroon. The lanky youth found his métier when he enrolled at the prestigious Cooper Union in Manhattan. Yet, at a recent luncheon for his upcoming Colby show, Katz discussed feeling intimidated at the time to be a full-time fine artist because he thought it meant fulfilling a 19th century idea of genius. The artist's profound connection and devotion to the state of Maine—where he escapes each summer—and Colby, began at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Katz received a scholarship in 1949 venturing outdoors to paint alfresco. While at Skowhegan, he had an epiphany and discovered a connection between the painting process and his unconscious This summer, the prolific painter has three concurrent solo shows, a Barney's window takeover and a new home collection. Has Alex Katz found the fountain of youth? BY MELISSA FELDMAN COOL KATZ Bather, 1959, at the Colby College Museum of Art

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