Alex Katz Prints
April 28 - July 29, 2012
Summer comes early to the MFA
Enter the world of glowing light and vibrant color of “Alex Katz Prints.” Bold portraits, idyllic landscapes, scenes of sophisticated leisure—they’re all here in the works of the renowned contemporary artist. With arresting simplicity of line, color, and form, Katz distills his subjects down to their essence, with a powerful graphic punch.
Alex Katz (b. 1927), known for his bold, hard-edged figurative paintings and prints, is one of the most celebrated artists of his generation. The MFA’s exhibition "Alex Katz Prints," based on an exhibition organized by the Albertina Graphic Collection, Vienna, surveys his career from the sixties to the present with 125 works: prints, unique and editioned cutouts on aluminum, and illustrated books. Katz depicts family members, art-world friends, and Maine landscapes with a cool detachment and a seductive elegance, while walking a tightrope between traditional figuration and pure abstraction. His portraits are among the most recognizable images in contemporary art. The artist’s model and muse for half a century has been his wife, Ada. Images of her in various guises will be on view along with portraits of prominent figures from New York’s art, dance, and poetry worlds. A focal point of the exhibition will be the unique series of painted life-size cutout heads on aluminum, Rush, a 2011 gift from the artist to the MFA. This will be an inaugural showing at the Museum of this exciting piece, which will be installed frieze-like in its own space. Comprising 37 silhouetted painted portrait heads, the series depicts members of the New York cultural scene of the 1960s and ’70s. The exhibition celebrates the promised gift from the artist to the MFA of an archive of his editioned prints.