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Alex Katz, who celebrates his 97th birthday this year, is one of the most important representatives of contemporary painting. During a long career which has spanned more than 70 years, he has dedicated himself to depicting the here and now, which is why he has described his art as “painting in the present tense.”  It was only later in his career, in the mid-1980s, that he approached gestural abstraction in his landscapes. The branches, twigs and leaves in his paintings reminiscent of the spontaneous gestures and ‘drip paintings’ of Jackson Pollock. Each individual brushstroke can be read figuratively and at the same time appears as an autonomous visual sign.
In some of these paintings, the light itself – whether direct, reflected, or diffuse – becomes the defining theme. “These are all very fleeting things, quickly over,” says Alex Katz. “I have captured twilight in landscapes that can only be seen for a quarter of an hour. That fascinates me because it’s real high-speed perception.”
With their clear design and masterful technique, Katz’s artworks convey the impression of great ease, as if they had come naturally into the world.

Alex Katz, Autumn 3, 2023

Original screenprint in colors on Saunders paper, 72 x 45 in. (183 x 114 cm), unframed

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