Alex Katz, ‘Boy with Branch 2’, 1975, RoGallery

In the 1950s, when the prominent style was Abstract Expressionism, Alex Katz made a radical artistic statement by choosing a more traditional subject: people. His “big face portraits,” as they were affectionately called at the time, were almost always larger than life in size, reflective of the monumental canvases beloved by his Abstract Expressionist peers. Katz’s early portraits also marked the beginning of the Pop Art movement. Much like Andy Warhol, Katz found inspiration in mass media, borrowing the graphic aesthetic of the advertising world and the cinematic compositions of the film industry. Even his portraits of his wife Ada (of which there are over 200) reflect the Pop Art obsession with celebrity. “When [Ada] was young she went to the movies and was very influenced,” Katz once explained. “All her gestures come out of movies...I am really lucky!”

This portrait of a boy (perhaps the artist's son) is a muted version of another print by the artist Boy with Branch 1. This print has soft colors and is a great example of the portrait style that Alex Katz has become so well known for over the years. Co-published by Brooke Alexander, Inc., New York, and Marlborough Graphics, Inc., New York. Printed by Prawat Laucheron, New York. Unframed. Alex Katz is a leading figure painter of the new realism movement in contemporary art.

Signature: Signed and numbered in pencil

About Alex Katz

New York School painter Alex Katz developed his highly stylized aesthetic in reaction to 1950s Abstract Expressionism, finding his own distinctive resolution between formalism and representation. His brightly colored figurative and landscape paintings are rendered in a flat style that takes cues from everyday visual culture like advertising and cinema, in many ways anticipating both the formal and conceptual concerns of Pop Art. Well known for his many portraits of his wife and muse, Ada, Katz has also dedicated himself to printmaking and freestanding sculptures of cutout figures painted on wood or aluminum.

American, b. 1927, New York, New York, based in New York, New York