Alex Katz

Sam Hunter, Author Rizzoli International Publications $27.5 (128p) ISBN 978-0-8478-1574-6
In the flat, billboard-style portraits and group scenes for which he is best known, painter Alex Katz emerges as a subversive cultural critic. His work is often pigeonholed as Pop Art, yet his haunting images, as Princeton art historian Hunter notes, ``work just outside of consciousness . . . confronting and taunting us'' even as they function effectively on an obvious level. With 110 color plates, this handsomely illustrated monograph takes a fresh, penetrating look at an artist who has fashioned his own distinctive idiom to make something dynamic and mysterious of the paradoxical exchanges between abstraction and representation. Katz, surprisingly, reveals himself as a compelling nature poet in the strangely serene Black Brook 11, the eerie, romantic Full Moon and the severe yet soothing A Tree in Winter. His figurative paintings are at once iconic and distant: as intimate as worn snapshots of old friends. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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