East Window
© Alex Katz

Reference URL

East Window 1979
  • Artist Rooms
Two classic painterly genres are united in this small study: portraiture and landscape. Katz captures the contrast between interior and exterior light, whilst the informal, cropped composition recalls Edouard Vuillard’s intimiste paintings. Katz has been painting portraits of his family and friends in New York since the 1950s; these are now seen as precursors of Pop Art. Often grand in scale, they have a slick finish and detached manner with undercurrents of melancholia. 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

Composition

The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Intimism

The informal, domestic scenes painted by Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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.

Composition, Intimism, Pop Art

Details

  • Acc. No. AR00003
  • Medium Oil paint on hardboard
  • Size 19.60 x 23.80 x 0.30 cm (framed: 21.60 x 25.60 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