Night Branch
© Alex Katz

Reference URL

Night Branch 1994
  • Artist Rooms
Winter branches are a recurring motif in Katz’s paintings from the mid 1990s. In this oil sketch they brush the surface of a geometric window, which suggests the architecture of his native New York. Katz has been painting the American cityscape and landscape since the 1950s, moving between his home in New York and a summer house in Maine. The portraits of his family and friends in New York are now seen as precursors of Pop Art. Small oil paintings such as this one are sketched from life and often intended to be scaled up into larger works, but their economic execution and visible brushstrokes reveal an intimate side to his practice. He says, "A sketch is very direct. It is working empirically, inside of an idea."

Glossary Open


A distinctive element in a work of art or design.

Pop Art

An art movement of the 1950s to the 1970s that was primarily based in Britain and the United States. Pop artists are so called because of their use of imagery from popular culture. They also introduced techniques and materials from the commercial world, such as screen-printing, to fine art practice.

Motif, Pop Art


  • Acc. No. AR00009
  • Medium Oil paint on hardboard
  • Size 30.20 x 23.00 x 0.30 cm (framed: 32.10 x 25.00 x 3.40 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008