© Alex Katz

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Pansies 1967
  • Artist Rooms
Katz explores the boundaries between abstract, flat surface and expressive realism in this simple, decorative subject. He has been painting flowers since the 1960s, often painted during summer residencies in Maine. The cropped, flattened composition owes a debt to Japanese art. Katz is well-known for his large paintings, whose bold simplicity and unmodulated colours 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


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.


Any act of representation in words, images, music or other means, particularly the representation of emotions or feelings in a lively manner.

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, Expression, Pop Art


  • Acc. No. AR00001
  • Medium Oil paint on hardboard
  • Size 30.90 x 40.40 x 0.40 cm (framed: 32.20 x 42.40 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