December 1, 1987
Alex Katz: A Print Retrospective, an exhibition of 63 graphic works from the early 1950s to the present and including screenprints, etchings, lithographs and woodcuts by the artist Alex Katz, has been organized by The Brooklyn Museum and will be on view from January 15 through April 11, 1988. The exhibition, located in the newly expanded Prints and Drawings Galleries on the second floor, will be drawn mainly from works completed since 1965, with emphasis on the artist’s work in black and white and on his less familiar images, namely, landscapes and still-lifes. It will also include a broad selection of the portraits with which he is most associated.
Alex Katz was born in New York in 1927 and studied at the Cooper Union and Skowhegan School. He worked only sporadically in prints between 1947 and 1955, then abandoned the medium for ten years, concentrating on painting, collage and cutouts.
His return to graphics in 1965 came at a time when, mainly for ideological reasons, printmaking was becoming a popular form of expression for painters and sculptors, and, concomitantly, collaborative workshops sprang up to supply the technical expertise. By that time, Katz had developed his mature style as a painter and had established long-term goals for his printmaking activities. His main concern was to disseminate his painted images to a wider audience without sacrificing the vitality inherent in an original work of art.
Katz has always reinterpreted in his prints images he had created previously in another medium, usually painting. Although he is best known for his work in color, he began printing in black and white in the early 1970s, and nearly one third of his prints are in black and white.
Katz has created approximately 150 printed images since Luna Park, his first mature print in 1965. He constantly experiments with various techniques, and works with a wide variety of printers and print workshops. His most recent work is a life-sized aluminum cutout, screenprinted on both sides.
Barry Walker, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Museum, selected and organized the exhibition and is the author of the accompanying catalogue, which is co-published by The Brooklyn Museum and Burton-Skira ($17.95, paperback).
Alex Katz: A Print Retrospective has been made possible, in part, by the generous support of Paul Jacques Schupf, who underwrote the catalogue, Diane and Michael Keehner, and Deborah and Michael Porter.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1987, 120-121. View Original