Born in 1927 in Brooklyn, New York, Alex Katz is one of the most
important and respected living American artists. In July 2012 Katz
celebrates his 85th birthday, and a career that spans a remarkable six
decades. Tate St Ives Summer Exhibition 2012 brings together over 30
canvases and collages from the 1950s to now.
Given the gallery's
location on the beach, and the nature of the summer season here, the
exhibition places a special emphasis on Katz's seascapes and beach scenes,
as well as images of family holidays and friends, painted in his own
seaside retreat of Lincolnville, Maine, where he continues to spend his
To accompany the show Katz has made a personal
selection of works from the Tate Collection. Drawn from British, European,
and American artists, he brings together an illuminating cross-generational
selection of artists for this special one-room display.
paintings are defined by their flatness of colour and form, their economy
of line, and their cool but seductive emotional detachment. He works in the
tradition of European and American artists like Manet, Matisse, and Hopper.
Many of Katz's works picture an everyday America of easy living, leisure,
and recreation. Working with the themes of portraiture, landscape, figure
studies, marine scenes, and flowers, Katz is influenced as much by style,
fashion, and music as he is art history.
In the 1950s, Abstract
Expressionism was still the dominant force in American art when Katz began
exhibiting. Whilst his interests were firmly based in the previous
generation of artists including Pollock, Rothko, Guston, and De Kooning (De
Kooning and Guston in particular offered early support and encouragement),
his own painting developed in reaction to their work, and he is
acknowledged as a hugely influential precursor to the Pop Art movement with
which he became associated throughout the 1960s.
created an unmistakable language and has remained a prolific painter and an
influential and important figure for generations of artists, including now
senior painters like David Salle, Peter Halley, and Richard Prince, as well
as younger artists like Brian Calvin, Peter Doig, and Elizabeth Peyton.
The catalogue, Alex Katz: Give Me Tomorrow, with
contributions from Martin Clark, Sarah Martin, Alison M Gingeras, and
Matthew Higgs, is available.
Alex Katz: Give Me
Tomorrow is supported by the Terra Foundation for American
Art, Tate Members, Tate St Ives Members, and the Alex Katz
Exhibition Supporters Group.
The exhibition is a
collaborative project with Turner Contemporary, Margate, where it will tour
6 October 2012–13 January 2013.
ARTIST ROOMS exhibitions and displays are from the collection
assembled by Anthony d'Offay. ARTIST ROOMS is owned jointly by Tate and
National Galleries of Scotland and was established through The d'Offay
Donation in 2008, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial
Fund, the Art Fund and the Scottish and British Governments. ARTIST ROOMS
On Tour with the Art Fund has been devised to enable this collection to
reach and inspire new audiences across the country, particularly young
Tate St Ives hours: March–October,
daily 10–17.20. Last admission 17. November–February,
Tuesday–Sunday 10–16.20. Last admission
16. Free to 18 and under and members.
Alex Katz, Eleuthera (detail), 1984. Private
Collection, Courtesy Galería Javier López, Madrid. Art
copyright Alex Katz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.