Young Trees
© Alex Katz

Reference URL

Young Trees 1989
  • Artist Rooms
The contrast between black sky and artificially lit ground create an unsettling atmosphere in this small study, as if we were observing the backdrop for a disturbing event. Katz has been painting the American landscape since the 1950s, often inspired by summer residencies in Maine. The melancholic undercurrents in this work suggest the influence of Edvard Munch. Katz is well-known for his large paintings, whose bold simplicity and heightened colours are now seen as precursors to 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

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.

Pop Art

Details

  • Acc. No. AR00005
  • Medium Oil paint on hardboard
  • Size 40.70 x 30.10 x 0.30 cm (framed: 42.60 x 32.00 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