Tate St Ives celebrates the career of Alex Katz with sunny display spanning six decades of his work

By Ruth Hazard | 25 May 2012
Alex Katz Round Hill (1977)Private Collection, Courtesy Galería Javier López, Madrid © Alex Katz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Exhibition: Alex Katz: Give Me Tomorrow, Tate St Ives, Cornwall, until September 23 2012

The sun may be shining on the holidaymakers thronging Porthcurno beach in St Ives, but inside the gallery that overlooks it the walls are also adorned with images of summer sunshine.

Respected American artist Alex Katz will celebrate his 85th birthday this summer and, to honour his prolific six-decade career, Tate St Ives is displaying 30 canvases, collages and cut outs of his most influential work.

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Alex Katz began exhibiting in the 1950s, when Abstract Expressionism was still the dominant force in the American art scene.

Katz's painting developed in reaction to this style, and his work is acknowledged as the precursor to the Pop Art movement which he was involved with throughout the 1960s.

Many of his works picture an everyday America of easy living, leisure and recreation.

As a nod to the gallery's home in St Ives, the exhibition places special emphasis on seascapes and beach scenes, as well as images of family holidays which Katz painted in the seaside retreat of Lincolnville, Maine, where he still spends his summers.

To accompany the show, Katz has personally selected his favourite works from the Tate Collection for a one-room off shoot to the display. A cool yet sunny respite from Cornwall's early summer heat.
  • Open 10am-5.20pm. Admission £6.50/£3.90 (free for under-18s).
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