• 22-OCT-2015

  • SOURCE: Guggenheim Bilbao

Alex Katz. This Is Now

Sunset 1, 2008
•Curators: Michael Rooks, Wieland Family Curator of Modern andContemporary Art, and Petra Joos, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
•Dates: October 23, 2015–February 7, 2016

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is pleased to present Alex Katz. This Is Now, a show that explores the development of landscape in the artist's career over the last 25 years. Organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the exhibition features 35 works in which Katz sought to convey the appearance of things as they are both felt and perceived in the "present tense," the now.

Alex Katz (b. 1927, Brooklyn) is a painter whose work is both fixed in the canon of postwar American art and in the avant garde of painting today. He emerged in the 1950s as a figurative painter in an age of abstraction, challenging critics who shunned imagery in art, especially figuration. Although he rejected Abstract Expressionism's abandonment of imagery, Katz did embrace its energy and formal logic. He developed a fast, physically active painting inspired by the action art of Jackson Pollock, whose allover compositions were a revelation. Katz described his goal as the pursuit of capturing "quick things passing" in his work.

Using a shallow pictorial space and lean, reductive, but acutely descriptive lines, Katz aims to initiate a conversation about the confluence of perception and awareness, as well as the relationship between art and nature and the nature of the sublime in this contemporary moment. Although best known for his portraits, Katz has painted landscapes both inside the studio and outof- doors since the beginning of his career.

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