Alex Katz

Night Branch

1994

Medium
Oil paint on hardboard
Dimensions
Support: 302 x 230 x 3 mm
frame: 321 x 250 x 34 mm
Acquisition
ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Reference
AR00009

Online caption

Winter branches are a recurring motif in Katz’s paintings from the mid 1990s. In this oil sketch they brush the surface of a geometric window, which suggests the architecture of his native New York. Katz has been painting the American cityscape and landscape since the 1950s, moving between his home in New York and a summer house in Maine. The portraits of his family and friends in New York are now seen as precursors of Pop Art. Small oil paintings such as this one are sketched from life and often intended to be scaled up into larger works, but their economic execution and visible brushstrokes reveal an intimate side to his practice. He says, "A sketch is very direct. It is working empirically, inside of an idea."

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