Alex Katz (b. 1927)
Alex Katz was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1927. In 1928, his family relocated to St. Albans, a suburb of Queens, where Katz would be raised. Katz was enrolled at Woodrow Wilson High School for its arts program, which allowed him to spend the first half of the day studying academics and the second half in fine art classes. In 1946, Katz attended Cooper Union Art School for his undergraduate art education.
In 1949, after graduating from Cooper Union, Katz was awarded a scholorship for summer study at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Skowhegan imbued Katz with a love for painting from life, a practice that remains integral in his work to this day. Katz has been quoted as saying that Skowhegan's plein air education gave him "a reason to devote my life to painting."
Katz’s paintings can be found in over 100 public collections worldwide, including The Art Institute of Chicago; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Tate Gallery, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
In 1968, Katz moved to an artists' cooperative building in the SoHo area of New York City, where he still lives and works today. He continues to spend his summers in Lincolnville, Maine.