Alex Katz was born in New York on July 24, 1927. From 1946 to 1949 he studied at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, and then, from 1949 to 1950, at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. His work has been the subject of nearly 200 solo exhibitions internationally since 1954, including a 1986 Whitney Museum of American Art retrospective. In 1994, The Cooper Union School endowed the Alex Katz Visiting Chair in Painting, and in 2000, honored the artist with its “Artist of the City” award. The Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Art of Alex Katz at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine, makes the Colby museum one of the few museums in the United States with a wing devoted solely to the work of a living artist. Katz currently lives and works in New York.
Katz’s work has always been figurative. His present large scale paintings of figures in landscape and urban settings have evolved from the flat statues, and later close-ups. His flat, free-standing, life-size cutouts bear striking and yet subtle likeness to their subjects, living figures from literature and art. These mammoth paintings, created in a new scale, emphasize color and drawing.