104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010  | 
(212) 254-4710  |  Mon - Fri, 10AM - 6PM
Follow Us:
  • We are happy to call you during the auction and place bids on your behalf. To arrange phone bidding, please call Swann's bid department during business hours.

    (212) 254-4710 ext. 0
    Mon - Fri 10AM - 6PM

     

    Or, e-mail a list of lots with the sale number and your contact information to phonebids@swanngalleries.com. Be sure to include a phone number where we can reach you.

    Bids may also be submitted via fax. Send a list of lots with the sale number and your contact information to (212) 979-1017. You will receive a confirmation before the sale.

    Sale 2509 | Lot 240
    Price Realized: $18,750With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
    • Click Image To Enlarge

    • Sale 2509 Lot 240

      ALEX KATZ
      Figures in a Rowboat.

      Gouache on cream wove paper, 1969. 180x165 mm; 7x6 1/2 inches. Signed in pencil, lower left recto.

      The original drawings used as an illustration for Fragment, by John Ashbery, Los Angeles, 1969.

      Ex-collection private collection, New York.

      Katz (born 1927) was born in the Bronx and raised in Queens, New York by Russian émigré parents who were both interested in poetry and the arts. He studied at Cooper Union, New York, and then accepted grants to to pursue art at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Maine. There he learned to paint directly from nature and the plen-aire approach to his art gave him, as he has stated, "a reason to devote my life to art."

      His economy of line and the flatness of his compositions belie his fascination with Japanese Ukiyo-e woodcuts, while his early use of monochromatic backgrounds and large fields of saturated colors exemplify the Pop Art Movement of the 1960s onward. Katz was friends with many New York City based creative types, such as Fairfield Porter and Larry Rivers, and the time he spent with poet John Ashbery precipitated the creation of Fragment. In the 1950s and 60s he began to pursue greater realism in his paintings and, in the 1960s, inspired by billboards and popular advertising, began doing large-scale works with unconventional cropping of the main figures. While his portraits rely on the strict delineation between color and form in order to communicate sensitivity and intimacy with the subjects, Katz's landscapes, such as in the current lot, employ a painterly interpretation of line and form, simplifying figures to heighten what the artist has referred to as the "environment" of the piece.

      Estimate $5,000 - 8,000


      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $18,750