Timothy Taylor is pleased to present an exhibition of drawings, new large-scale paintings, studies on board and sculpture by Alex Katz. This is the artist’s eighth exhibition with the gallery and the first solo presentation in London since his retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery in the summer of 2016.
The exhibition brings together a selection of the 1940's ‘Subway Drawings'- which have travelled to London after being exhibited at Timothy Taylor, New York earlier this year. These drawings were executed by Katz during his time as an art student at Cooper Union, when he used his time in transit on the subway to study individual figures and groups, developing his signature clarity of line. Drawing continues to serve as a crucial facet in Katz's practice – a tool of immediacy that articulates his most essential images, in his pursuit to capture the present tense, or "quick light" as he calls it.
The two new, and previously unseen, sculptures are both inspired by Katz’s wife, Ada – who is a recurring subject of Katz’s works and now somewhat of an icon. The 11-foot sculpture Ada (Outline) is a 3 dimensional rendering of a single line drawing of Ada’s profile, while Departure (Ada) is softer and more nostalgic, showing Ada from behind walking away into the landscape. Katz has spent his summers in Maine since his studies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1949 and these recently executed studies and paintings are all inspired by the natural surroundings there.
Over the years he has captured his summer home and its surroundings in all their rural splendour. Katz himself notes that the joy of nature is that it, “is always changing, always in motion. The light changes, and your eyes change. That produces a state that is close to automatic painting. You can’t think fast enough to keep up with it. You get ahead of your conscious mind a little bit.”
The subject of over 200 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group shows internationally since 1951, Katz has been honoured with numerous retrospectives including: The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; The Jewish Museum, New York; The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Colby College Museum of Art, Maine; Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden; Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain; The Saatchi Gallery, London; Tate St. Ives, UK; Turner Contemporary, UK; Albertina Museum, Vienna; and The Guggenheim, Bilbao.
Katz is represented in over 100 public collections worldwide, and throughout his career has been the recipient of numerous awards: The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for Painting in 1972, and in 1987, the Pratt Institute’s Mary Buckley Award for Achievement and The Queens Museum of Art Award for Lifetime Achievement. Katz was inducted by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1988, and recognised with honorary doctorates by Colby College, Maine in 1984 and Colgate University, Hamilton, New York in 2005. In 2007, he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy Museum, New York.