Alex Katz

Alex Katz – Allen Ginsberg 1 [study], 1985. Oil on board. 20 x 16 inches.

The American artist, Alex Katz turns 87 today  [96! – it’s 2023 – Happy Birthday, Alex!]

From an interview with Alex Katz by Richard Prince – for Journal of Contemporary Art 

Richard Prince: What are some of the things in your life that you saw or heard or came on and you thought, “Yeah, now that’s new”?

Alex Katz : Lester Young. Billie Holliday. Be Bop. Stan Kenton. Dizzy Gillespie, Machito, Charlie Parker. Stan Getz. Miles Davis. Sonny Rollins’s “Wagon Wheels“. Man Ray. Charles Lamb. Georges Braque’s 1913 black and white collages. Pablo Picasso’s sculptures. Malevich’s Suprematist paintings. Henri Matisse’s collages. Jackson Pollock. Barnett Newman. Clifford Still. Roy Lichtenstein, early 1960s. James Rosenquist, early 1960s. Eva Hesse. Jeff Koons. Mike Kelley’s rugs. Richard Avedon’s fashion photos, 1960s. Red Grooms’ early happenings. Paul Taylor, late 1950s. William Dunas, early 1970s. Samuel Beckett’s “Happy Dayswith Ruth White. John Jesuran’s “Red House”. Meredith Monk’s theater and music pieces. Godard’s Breathless. Andy Warhol’s Chelsea Girls. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. Antonioni’s L’Avventura. Rudy Burckhardt’s city and country films without acting. 1960s vinyl coats, white or black. Guillaume Apollinaire. John Ashbery’s “Skaters.” Color TV. Ads. Football. Wide-angle technicolor movies.

and here’s an  article from the Boston Globe a couple of years back on Alex’s reading habits

Alex’s interview/conversation with Francesco Clemente (from 1989) may be accessed here

David Salle, here
with Jane Freilicher here

Selected other interviews – an oral history interview from 1969 for the Archives of American Art  here 
A video-taped interview with Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, from 1979 – here
Adrian Searle interviews Alex for The Guardian here (2012), and, this past August, Kim Heirston visits his studio and “shares inspirations, methodologies, and stories“.

The “New York School” and poetry connection – Andrew Epstein’s exemplary Locus Solus blog has two useful posts on that (the latter connecting to Matthew Sperling’s illuminating interview in Apollo magazine)  – here and here

Not forgetting the 1978 portfolio, “The Face of The Poet

 Here’s a miscellany of Alex Katz paintings and images

and four more of Allen

Alex Katz. Allen Ginsberg, 1986. Oil on linen. 48 x 144 inches.

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