Alex Katz Paints Ada, 1957-2005

Overview

For almost fifty years, the American artist Alex Katz (b. 1927) has painted a series of portraits of his wife, Ada. This beautifully illustrated book is the first to focus on these iconic paintings, which are unprecedented in their focus on a single figure over many years.
In this volume, leading scholars explore the allure of Ada as a subject and the art-historical importance of Katz’s portraits, asking fascinating questions about Katz’s methods and intentions: What do ...

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Overview

For almost fifty years, the American artist Alex Katz (b. 1927) has painted a series of portraits of his wife, Ada. This beautifully illustrated book is the first to focus on these iconic paintings, which are unprecedented in their focus on a single figure over many years.
In this volume, leading scholars explore the allure of Ada as a subject and the art-historical importance of Katz’s portraits, asking fascinating questions about Katz’s methods and intentions: What do these paintings reveal and conceal about their subject? What does Katz do in the studio to convey such vitality on his canvases? How does Katz’s work fit into the history of portraiture and the art movements of the 1960s and beyond? Acclaimed art critic and curator Robert Storr examines Ada’s alluring persona, comparing her to other “goddesses” who have captivated centuries of portrait painters. James Schuyler recounts a day in Katz’s studio, and the late British art critic Lawrence Alloway explores the role of repetition in the Ada portraits, which he views as a cycle of images with antecedents in Velázquez and Rembrandt.
Featuring the renowned series of Ada portraits, this book demonstrates the cumulative power and enduring delight of Alex Katz’s achievement, as well as his devotion to his greatest muse.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

American figurative painter Alex Katz (b. 1927) is known for his stylized, colorful paintings of friends and family. An exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York City showing through March 18 is made up entirely of his portraits of Ada, his wife and muse. Painted over the course of 50 years, the images simultaneously record Katz's artistic progression, the stages of his and Ada's family life, and Ada's graceful aging. This volume includes reproductions of more than 60 of those paintings (mostly in color), a new essay by Storr (dean, Yale Univ. Sch. of Art; curator, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Elizabeth Murray), and reprints of previously published essays by the late art historian Lawrence Alloway and the late Pulitzer Prize winner James Schuyler. Although not widely known outside of art circles, Katz's work is appealing and accessible and has been the subject of numerous exhibition catalogs and previous books. While not an essential acquisition—except for specialized art collections—this particular work will appeal to both general readers and specialists.
—Kathryn Wekselman Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300114836
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2006
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Storr is dean of the Yale University School of Art and Consulting Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His numerous books include Elizabeth Murray, Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting, and Chuck Close. Lawrence Alloway (1926–1990) was professor of art history at the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1968 to 1981. His books include American Pop Art and Topics in American Art Since 1945. James Schuyler (1923–1991) is author of The Morning of the Poem, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981, and the recently reissued novel What’s for Dinner?

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