Artist Project: Alex Katz and Vincent Katz


In the mid-’80s, poet Vincent Katz wrote a series of short, stark poems relating to a recent breakup. Once finished, he happened to show them to his father, the painter Alex Katz, who was compelled to create a drawing to accompany each poem. The result, “Autographs,” is published here for the first time.

Alex Katz is regarded as one of the most significant American artists to have emerged after 1950. Born in New York City in 1927, Katz studied at the Cooper Union and later at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. His paintings and cutouts combine figuration and abstraction to create an elegant take on realism and are in more than 100 public and private collections worldwide. Since 1951, Katz's work has been the subject of more than 250 solo exhibitions and almost 500 group exhibitions worldwide, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1986); the Brooklyn Museum of Art (1988); Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden (1995); P.S. 1/Institute for Contemporary Art, New York (1997–1998); the Saatchi Gallery, London (1998); the Jewish Museum, New York (2006); the National Portrait Gallery, London (2010); Guggenheim Bilbao (2015); the Lotte Museum of Art, Seoul (2018); Tate Liverpool (2018) the Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris (2019); Fosun Foundation, Shanghai (2020); Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid (2022); the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2022); and the Albertina, Vienna (2023).

Vincent Katz is a poet, translator, and critic. He earned his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his M.A. from Oxford University. His poetry collections include Broadway for Paul (2020), Southness (2016), Swimming Home (2015), Rapid Departures (2005), Understanding Objects (2000), and Cabal of Zealots (1988). He has curated exhibitions for the Institute of Modern Art, Valencia, Spain; the Grey Art Gallery at New York University; and the Museum of the City of New York. At the 2004 Montreal International Film Festival, his and Vivien Bittencourt's documentary on Rudy Burckhardt, Man in the Woods: The Art of Rudy Burckhardt, was shown.