The Tampa Museum of Art will present a survey of black and white works by the legendary artist Alex Katz (American, b. 1927). An artist of international renown, this exhibition features Katz’s signature portraits of family and friends, renderings of Maine’s countryside, and ephemeral still lifes. The stark contrasts in light and shadow, as well as the emphasis on line and form, illustrate the beauty of Katz’s reductive black and white landscapes and figurative work. A select group of color works will illustrate the relationship between Katz’s vibrant palette and the graphic quality of his black and white prints.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether you go or not, Alex Katz: Prints and Works in Editions 1947-2010: Catalogue Raisonné assesses Katz's history with printmaking and editions, including collaborations with writers. Alex Katz's clear planes of color and simplicity of line are famously well suited to printmaking. For Katz himself, the medium also holds the appeal of distributing his work in greater quantity.
His embrace of printmaking was consolidated in the mid-1960s, and led to a voracious exploration of print technologies, including the latest state-of-the-art reproduction processes. Each of these elicits different qualities from Katz's artistic vocabulary: woodcut, for example, yields an emotional tenor not commonly seen elsewhere in his oeuvre, as the traces left by chisel and burn are left legible and accepted by the artist. However, the primary effect of Katz's prints is to enhance his art as a coolly Baudelairean "painting of modern life." Though he frequently works with professional printing companies, Katz often undertakes the full run of manual labor himself.