In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, reporter Alexandra Wolfe analyzes Alex Katz' early work in a new exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s, and discusses how the artist developed his signature style.
According to Mark Cole, curator for the exhibition, Katz was a struggling artist, picking up odd jobs to subsidize his earnings from his artwork. But by the end of the decade, the compositions began to simplify and "the big development you see is he really forges an ingenious way to wed abstraction with recognizable imagery." This refined style is especially prominent in Bather (1959), Wildflowers in a Vase (1954 - 1955), and Four People (1953 - 1954), all on display in the current exhibition.
Brand New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950's in on view to the public through August 6, 2017.