- Alex Katz born 1927
- Oil paint on hardboard
- Support: 230 x 302 x 4 mm
frame: 250 x 321 x 34 mm
- Tate / National Galleries of Scotland
- 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
Winter branches are a recurring motif in Katz’s paintings, particularly from the mid 1990s. Seen here, they meander across the monochrome surface like abstract lines, revealing Katz’s interest in Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings. He has been painting the American landscape since the 1950s, often inspired by summer residencies in Maine. Katz is well-known for his large paintings, whose bold simplicity and unmodulated colours 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."