Alex Katz: Grass and Trees
April 12 - June 2, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 12, 6-8 PM
2044 West Carroll Ave, Chicago, IL 60612
Richard Gray Gallery is pleased to announce Grass and Trees, a solo presentation of recent landscape paintings by Alex Katz.
The exhibition opens with a reception for the artist on Thursday, April 12 from 6 - 8 PM at Gray Warehouse, and is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by poet and critic John Yau. A gallery talk with John Yau and literary critic and historian Ivy Wilson will take place at Gray Warehouse on Saturday, April 14 at 12 PM. Grass and Trees is the artist’s sixth exhibition with Richard Gray Gallery.
Alex Katz was approaching his 90th birthday when he began a new series of landscapes radically different from his earlier work. More loosely painted and expressively realized than any work to date, Grass and Trees debuts large-scale paintings which draw inspiration from three motifs – grasses, roads, and trees. Prompted by the immediacy of nature outside his studio in Maine, these landscapes, like vignettes, are swift, evocative, and specific. While the “Road” and “Trees” paintings veer toward his signature graphic style, Katz’s “Grass” compositions are freely gestural, offering an engulfing sense of space. As one example: Grass 5, depicts nothing more than sunspots and flecks of light on the grass yet measures a heroic 9 x 18 feet. As Yau notes in his catalogue essay, "... the size of these paintings is immersive. They recall Pollock’s panoramic drip paintings, which ignored the canvas’s physical edges and seemed to extend beyond the painting’s actual limits. You are not looking at a landscape; you are in it.”
Alex Katz: Grass and Trees follows recent museum surveys of the artist’s work at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the High Museum of Atlanta, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and the Colby College Museum of Art. Works by Alex Katz are held in public collections internationally, including the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Katz lives and works in New York and Maine.
ABOUT ALEX KATZ
Alex Katz (American, b. 1927) is one of the most recognized and widely-exhibited artists of his generation. Coming of age between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, Katz began exhibiting his work in 1954, and since that time he has produced a celebrated body of work, which includes paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints. His earliest work took inspiration from various aspects of mid-century American culture and society, including television, film, and advertising, and over the past five and a half decades he has established himself as a preeminent painter of modern life, whose distinctive portraits and lyrical landscapes bear a flattened surface and consistent economy of line. Utilizing characteristically wide brushstrokes, large swathes of color, and refined compositions, Katz created what art historian Robert Storr has called "a new and distinctive type of realism in American art which combines aspects of both abstraction and representation."
Since the 1950s, Alex Katz's work has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group exhibitions around the world. His work can be found in nearly 100 public collections worldwide, including the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Tate Gallery, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among many others.