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"Alex Katz: The Complete Woodcuts and Linocuts, 1951-2001"
2002-06-22 until 2002-08-25
Bellevue Art Museum
USA United States of America
Alex Katz titled Alex Katz: The Complete Woodcuts and Linocuts, 1951-2001 is devoted to the woodcut and linocut prints created since 1951, a technique that Katz abandoned for a time and picked up again in the mid 1980s. This group of works shows a variety of the stylistic experimentations Katz has explored throughout his career. The exhibition includes forty-two woodcut and thirty-six linocut prints created since 1951.
In the prints of the 1950s, Katz leaves the roughness of the wood creating an expressive texture to the print, which emphasizes a more traditional printmaking method. While the prints of the 1980s to present, Katz tends to create more simplified block prints representative of early collage practices. The artistís use of collage creates images free of any significant visual texture as the images are reduced to a few flat color areas. Katz has also been described as employing German Expressionist techniques, characterized by the harsh angular edges, and black and white tones emphasizing the fact that the images are cut from a solid block, creating work that is often associated with commercial advertisements and early propaganda posters. However, Katzís prints tend to make references to sexy advertising campaigns rather than cutting social commentary.
Alex Katz has become one of the most important artists to emerge on the American art scene since 1950. Trained as a graphic designer, Katz spent the early years of his life designing posters, book jackets and magazine covers. His
remarkable body of large-scale portrait paintings, woodcuts and linocuts, spans more than thirty years. By using close-up vantage points and cropped compositions, and a combination of abstraction and realism, his work engulfs the viewer in an imaginary space located between reality and the artificial.
Alex Katz has exhibited widely throughout the United States and Europe. His works are included in the collections of many museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Hirshhorn Museum and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. D.C. and the Art Institute of Chicago. Katz works are also to be found in international collections such as The Saatchi Collection in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Tokyo.