From the Kent Bicentennial Portfolio, Spirit of Independence
20 in. x 40 in. (50.8 cm x 101.6 cm)
Medium and Support:
Lithograph on paper
Gift of Lorillard, a Division of Loews Theatres, Inc.
© Alex Katz / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Alex Katz's work aligns closely with the New Realist movement, a version of Pop that focused on the figure. Katz's figurative images based on friends and family members, who he generalized and flattened in a blend of real and artificial, fit into the New Realists' ideas of a taking an objective approach to render their subjects as they appeared in real life.
Rather than creating a portrait filled with emotion, Katz focuses on light, color, and scale to create portraits that become archetypes. For instance, in his depiction of George Washington from the Kent Bicentennial Portfolio: Spirit of Independence, Katz portrays the iconic figure that many consider the father of our nation—yet there is little to identify the sitter other than the title of the print.