Alex Katz, Forest, 1992. Courtesy of Timothy Taylor.

Alex Katz: Landscapes

Pop artist Alex Katz, most known for his portraits of his wife Ada, has long been inspired by landscapes, especially those near his summer home in Maine. Katz first experimented with painting outdoors as a student at the prestigious Skowhegan School in Maine in the 1940s, reaching his most productive period of landscape painting in the ’80s and ’90s. Katz’s landscapes are often monumental in scale—with some canvases over a dozen feet wide—making viewers feel like they are in nature, not just looking at it. These immersive paintings, which Katz refers to as “environmental,” were inspired in part by the all-over, large-scale works of the Abstract Expressionist Jackson Pollock—but instead of Pollock’s scattered paint across the canvas, Katz filled his compositions with trees, leaves, and sky. Even after turning 90, Katz continues to create paintings and prints filled with nature, often focusing on the interaction between light and landscape.

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