Alex Katz (b. 1927) transforms the people and places that comprise his two homes—New York City and Lincolnville, Maine—into powerful images that reflect his enchantment with modern life and his dedication to painting. He makes landscapes representing his everyday surroundings, portraits of close friends and family, and genre scenes featuring members of his creative circles.
This installation of the Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz highlights different strategies of repetition in Katz’s art, focusing on four words that describe this defining aspect of his artistic practice: reflection, recurrence, reduplication, and re-creation. Each captures a different, yet overlapping, meaning that emphasizes how repetition—for Katz, and for us—offers a set of creative tools for observing the world and connecting to it intentionally.
Over seventy-plus years, Katz’s bold and rigorous experiments with light, composition, scale, and collaboration have captured his commitment to present-tense experience. These same experiments constitute an expansive record of his intergenerational artistic community.
Alex Katz, Double Portrait with Frames , 1960. Oil on masonite. 20 in. x 31 1/2 in. (50.8 cm x 80.01 cm). Colby College Museum of Art, Gift of the artist, 1995. 06
The Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz features a rotating selection of artworks from the museum’s collection of nearly nine hundred of the artist’s paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures, spanning his entire career. The wing offers opportunities to celebrate and study the wide-ranging sources, interactions, and perspectives that inform Katz’s practice. It presents histories of modern culture and contemporary painting that are as inclusive, vibrant, and engaged with the world as the artist himself.
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Banner image: Alex Katz, Summer Flowers, 2018. Silkscreen on canvas.42 x 111 inches (107 x 282 cm). Colby College Museum of Art, Gift of the artist, 2023