When Alex Katz was making pen drawings of New York’s subway riders in 1940s, his lines had a demure stillness against the trains’s deadpan run. “The line was slower and more tentative than it is now,” he explains to Cultured. When he proceeded to oil painting of his friends in the city’s arts community in the ‘60s, he captured dancers’s performative gestures through their entire bodies while focusing on a sitter’s gaze in a portraiture: “Movement involves the whole figure whereas with the portraits, it’s static and fixed with the eyes.”
Alex Katz’s Majestic Guggenheim Survey Reminds Us the Beauty of Looking
The iconic New York artist talks to Cultured about the distance a line can take and observing nature’s own art and his new retrospective, which opens today at the museum.