The Flowers Portfolio by Alex Katz, consists of 7 original prints that showcase Katz’s signature minimalist aesthetic in a masterful interpretation of flora. For over six decades, Alex Katz has drawn inspiration from all types of flowers, transforming windblown tiger lilies, marigolds, roses and petunias into iconic works of Pop Art. Katz’s floral depictions are vibrant and alive, often with stems growing in all directions, petals flying through the air and leaves scattered across the composition. The flat, illustrative qualities of these flowers are combined with hard-edged definitions and minimal modelling techniques. The artist’s subtractive methodology allows him to remove the visual noise and focus on the essential elements with the utmost precision. Alex Katz: The Flowers Portfolio features a kind of laconic botany that may appear slightly fragile as the invisible wind tears off leaves, creating a fluttering sense of dynamism, but these floral icons become immobile objects that take centre stage in a field of colour.
The Purple Tulips 1 are shown here in the floral style characteristic of Alex Katz – petals appear as yellow splashes between broad, intersecting strokes of blue-green stems, all superimposed on a vivid pink, not to say pink, background. By combining formal aspects of abstraction and representation, Katz makes each composition appear both as an intimate still life and as an enveloping landscape which, as the author and critic Calvin Tompkins describes, “lets us see the world as he sees it, clearly and up close, leaving out all but the most essential details”.
Alex Katz has a pronounced interest in nature, having spent his summer months in Maine for years, where he created many famous works such as the Wildflowers, Yellow Flags, Summerflowers and Spring Flowers.
Alex Katz is especially famous for his figurative paintings: The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, he was born in New York in 1927. As a pioneer of Pop Art, he always concentrated on the essentials and early on he began to explore simplified forms and contrasting color compositions. His art is diverse, but always has beauty as its central theme. The artist can now look back on more than 200 solo and around 500 group exhibitions; his diverse works are part of over 100 collections worldwide. Alex Katz lives and works in New York and Maine.