Alex Katz

Flower Paintings

Gavin Brown's enterprise

Alex Katz is best known for his cooly seductive portraiture, but starting in the 1960s, the now 92-year-old artist began painting flowers, as a way to capture the movement that he felt was missing in his portraits. This online exhibition unveils a selection of Katz’s latest flower paintings, which are rendered in the same bold colors and distinctly flat style as his paintings of people.

Presented alongside the new works are studies from older flower paintings, photos of Katz working in his Maine and Manhattan studios, and video interviews with the artist—who is undoubtedly a master.

From Gavin Brown’s enterprise:

“In his new flower paintings, the view is close up and the background is vast. Katz depicts flowers alone and in small groups, referencing the very first flower paintings he made in the 60s. However, these new paintings are made with an aggressive, deliberate simplicity that we’ve come to know in Katz’s most recent works. He has returned to these goldenrods, dogwoods, lilies and tulips each summer in Maine for over sixty years. At 92 years old, his lived experience and clear vision enables Katz to paint flowers unlike ever before. He gives us the essence of the flower, allowing us to see how he sees.”

Alex Katz, Red Dogwood 1, 2020. Oil on linen, 72 x 96 inches.