Brand-New & Terrific | Alex Katz, Phong Bui, Elizabeth Peyton, Diana Tuite | An Art Book Series Event
FREE - Auditorium doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Legendary artist Alex Katz discusseshis new book, Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Colby College Museum of Art. He is joined by Katz Curator at Colby, Diana Tuite, curator, artist, and writer Phong Bui, and artist Elizabeth Peyton.
Celebrating an experimental decade in the career of Alex Katz, this breathtaking volume introduces audiences to a relatively unknown body of his work. The exhibition is currently on view at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine, through October 18th, 2015
Brand-New & Terrific surveys the incredible body of work created by the acclaimed painter as he came of age as an artist in the wake of Abstract Expressionism. Setting out to reinvent representational painting, Katz struggled at first to find an audience, destroying hundreds of canvases. This book explores the artwork that survived from this momentous decade, one in which he first painted outdoors, innovated with collages, and met Ada Del Moro, his wife and muse. The essays in this book contextualize Katz’s painting, consider how he and his peers looked at one another, mined 19th-century portraiture, and borrowed from television, advertising, and cinema. The result is a fascinating study of a young artist laying the groundwork for an astonishingly successful career.
Copies of Brand-New & Terrific (Prestel, 2015) are available for purchase and signing at the end of event.
Alex Katz was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1927. Upon graduating from Cooper Union in 1949, Katz was awarded a scholarship for summer study at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Maine. At Skowhegan Katz was first exposed to plein-air painting, which would prove pivotal in his development as a painter and remains a staple of his practice today. In the late 1950s, Katz became increasingly interested in portraiture and developed his own style of portraiture, utilizing people in his milieu — friends and colleagues, and, significantly, his wife and muse, Ada — as models. In the early 1960s, influenced by films, television, and billboard advertising, Katz began painting large-scale works, often with dramatically cropped faces. Later he painted complex groups of figures, portraying the social scene of painters, poets, critics, and others in the New York art world. In the 1980s, Katz made a return to landscape in the form of large-scale “environmental” paintings, and he has continued to explore these interests up to the present day.
Katz's work has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group exhibitions internationally since 1951. Brand New and Terrific, an exhibition of works from the 1950s at the Colby College Museum of Art, and This is Now, a retrospective of large-scale landscapes at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, are both on view in 2015. Works by Alex Katz can be found in over 100 public collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Albertina in Vienna.
Phong Bui is an artist, curator and lecturer who serves as the editor-in-chief of the arts, culture and politics journal The Brooklyn Rail. A graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and the New York School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture, Bui has exhibited his artwork at such venues as The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Sarah Bowen Gallery, Pierogi, and Wooster Art Space. A prolific curator, Bui has staged over 40 exhibitions since 2000, including New York Magazine’s first-ranked exhibit of 2013, Come Together: Surviving Sandy, Year 1. In addition to his role at The Brooklyn Rail, Bui has served as a curatorial advisor to the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, produces and hosts Clocktower Radio’s Off The Rail program, and has written on an astonishing variety of contemporary artists, Alex Katz among them.
Elizabeth Peyton (born 1965) is an American artist known for her portraits of artists, musicians, historical figures, and occasionally athletes, cityscapes, and still lifes, which she renders from photographs and from life. Peyton’s insights into historical and artistic portraiture transform her subjects into images that are both reminiscent of the everyday and beautifully transcendent. Through lush brushstrokes and a graphic sensitivity, her understanding of color and pattern imbue her work with passion and magic. Since the 1990s, Peyton’s work has been exhibited extensively and is held in leading public collections, including the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
As the inaugural Katz Curator at the Colby College Museum of Art, Diana Tuite is responsible for programming related to the Alex Katz collection, gifts made by the Katz Foundation, and the modern and contemporary art collections more broadly. She has published widely on American art and is the curator of Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s, the first major museum survey of Katz’s early career. The exhibition travels to two additional U.S. venues in 2017. In her previous position at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, she co-organized the widely acclaimed exhibitions Edward Hopper’s Maine (in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art) and William Wegman: Hello Nature.
In its seventh year the program series An Art Book, initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni, is a celebration of the essential importance and beauty of art books. The events showcase book presentations and discussions by world renowned artists, critics, curators, gallerists, historians and writers.
Events at The New York Public Library may be photographed or recorded. By attending these events, you consent to the use of your image and voice by the Library for all purposes.