Alex Katz

The definitive Alex Katz book, like his iconic paintings, is larger than life. With more than 300 images, many unpublished, and a searching profile by an art historian who has studied the painter for more than half a century, this monograph charts the development of Katz's singular American style.

Alex Katz has found his audience. It's not the first time. Over seven decades, the artist has developed his vision with determination as the tides of avant-garde and academic fashion ebbed and flowed. His first audience was other painters (including de Kooning and Philip Guston), and today, still, he is perhaps best understood by other artists: those who appreciate how difficult it is to make something so simple, so well. Working in a representational style while his classmates celebrated Abstract Expressionism, eschewing slick surfaces for a pared-down view while his peers went glossy with Pop, Katz cleaved to one vision, a few locations, and subjects. Katz's endurance and commitment to developing an original American style is explored in depth, from his boyhood influences to an artistic circle that included John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, Lois Dodd, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, Fairfield Porter, Yvonne Rainer, Larry Rivers, and Paul Taylor.
Sketches, works on paper, and archival material selected by the artist's son, the poet Vincent Katz, give a fuller picture of the painter and his world. The more than 250 paintings--reproduced at an unprecedented scale--will be the most comprehensive collection available in a single publication.

About The Author

Carter Ratcliff is an American art critic, writer, and poet. His books on art include John Singer Sargent, Robert Longo, The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Postwar American Art, and Andy Warhol: Portraits. Vincent Katz is a poet, translator, critic, editor, and curator. He is the author of thirteen books of poetry.

  • Publish Date: October 13, 2020
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Art - Individual Artists - Monographs
  • Publisher: Rizzoli Electa
  • Trim Size: 11 x 11
  • Pages: 416
  • US Price: $160.00
  • CDN Price: $210.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-6618-2


A definitive monograph of more than 300 images by artist Alex Katz—whose trademarks include brightly colored and highly stylized flattened forms, simplification of detail, and alla prima paint application—this book charts the development of Katz’s hallmark aesthetic that anticipated the emergence of Pop Art. — Vanity Fair, 11 of Fall's Best Coffee-Table Books

“'Nothing to me is more interesting than being in the studio. I don’t have any conflicts, except with myself,' says Alex Katz over the phone from his studio in Manhattan. “New ideas and new things just keep on popping up.” The inimitable 93-year-old artist, who has spent the past few months in quarantine working from the countryside in Pennsylvania, has just released a handsome new book with Rizzoli. Edited by his son Vincent, the striking tome features a comprehensive essay by the art critic and Katz specialist Carter Ratcliff and around 300 full-page images of both well known and unpublished paintings alongside photographs, sketches and other ephemera." —GALERIE MAGAZINE.COM

"Having become quite familiar myself with the wide variety of previous perspectives published about the artist’s work . . . I was happily surprised to be taken through the artist’s life via portraiture in such a rigorously perceptive way as Ratcliff fashions here." —TOM MCGLYNN, BROOKLYN RAIL

Author Bookshelf: Carter Ratcliff