Katz 'n Crew
April 2, 2009
This morning I found Alex Katz in a very unusual place: my J. Crew catalogue, which faithfully arrived with its usual thud in today's mail. I'm much more used to seeing Katz at American Art or in the countless collections that show his work. But now Katz is celebrated by J. Crew as a "Great American Artist" with still-life details of his studio, paintings of his wife, Ada, and three full-page portraits of the man himself in the catalogue.
At American Art there are several works by Katz, including the beautiful portrait of Ada, Black Scarf, from 1995. In addition, the museum has Katz's painted cut-out series, George Washington Crossing the Delaware, which Katz created as stage sets for Kenneth Koch's play of the same name. Katz was born in New York in 1927 and came to prominence there during the 1950s and 1960s, creating large, colorful canvases that were of the time but seemed to be anchored with more classical ballast.
In the catalogue, I like seeing the inside of his studio and the images of well-squeezed tubes of paint. What worries me, however, is the pair of Crew white chino pants Katz wears on page 129. Living with a painter who is working in the next room even as I write, I know those white pants don't stand a chance.
Want to learn more about Alex Katz? Check out our video interview with him.
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