Alex Katz

West Palm Beach

1997

Medium
Oil paint on hardboard
Dimensions
Support: 228 x 299 x 3 mm
frame: 249 x 319 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
AR00010

Online caption

Katz began painting beach scenes in the late 1990s, painting 'en plein air' in an attempt to grasp the colours and light of a specific moment. In this Florida beach scene he explores the quiet atmosphere of artificial light after midnight. Katz has been painting portraits of his family and friends since the 1950s; these are now seen as precursors to 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."