About this artwork
Seventeen portraits painted on both sides of cut-out aluminium panels and mounted on individual stands are laid out on a green-topped wooden table in three rows. The artist and his wife and muse, Ada, feature in the centre of the first row, accompanied by portraits of such family members as Vincent, the artist’s son, and friends and acquaintances from the art world. The close proximity of the heads and the angles they are positioned at suggest that the artist is depicting a scene where people he knows mingle at a social event. This sculptural work retains Katz’s signature graphic style, highlighting his tactic of paring down images to discover the essential qualities of both his medium and his sitter.
- title: GREEN TABLE
- accession number: AL00188
- artist: Alex KatzAmerican (born 1927)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Installation
- materials: Installation
- date created: 1996
- measurements: 140.00 x 274.00 x 122.00 cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010
- copyright: © Alex Katz.
Brooklyn born Katz emerged as a figurative artist when abstract expressionism was the reigning style. He studied at Cooper Union School of Art, New York, from 1946-9, before completing a scholarship in Skowhegen, Maine. While Katz has experimented with collage and printmaking, it is for his distinctive painting style, which pre-empted the birth of Pop Art, that he is best known. Primarily working from life, he produces images in which line and form are expressed through carefully composed strokes and planes of flat colour. He predominantly paints landscapes, portraits and figure compositions. Although he has continued to make small paintings as studies, from the 1960s his work grew in size to a scale more associated with abstract expressionism than realist painting.