Alex Katz Paints Ada

Robert Storr; With essays by Lawrence Alloway and James Schuyler

View Inside Price: $39.95

November 15, 2006
128 pages, 9 3/4 x 11 1/4
6 b/w + 66 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300114836

Published in association with The Jewish Museum

Out of Print

For almost fifty years, the American artist Alex Katz (b. 1927) has painted a series of portraits of his wife, Ada. This beautifully illustrated book is the first to focus on these iconic paintings, which are unprecedented in their focus on a single figure over many years.
In this volume, leading scholars explore the allure of Ada as a subject and the art-historical importance of Katz’s portraits, asking fascinating questions about Katz’s methods and intentions: What do these paintings reveal and conceal about their subject? What does Katz do in the studio to convey such vitality on his canvases? How does Katz’s work fit into the history of portraiture and the art movements of the 1960s and beyond? Acclaimed art critic and curator Robert Storr examines Ada’s alluring persona, comparing her to other “goddesses” who have captivated centuries of portrait painters. James Schuyler recounts a day in Katz’s studio, and the late British art critic Lawrence Alloway explores the role of repetition in the Ada portraits, which he views as a cycle of images with antecedents in Velázquez and Rembrandt.
Featuring the renowned series of Ada portraits, this book demonstrates the cumulative power and enduring delight of Alex Katz’s achievement, as well as his devotion to his greatest muse.

Robert Storr is dean of the Yale University School of Art and Consulting Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His numerous books include Elizabeth Murray, Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting, and Chuck Close. Lawrence Alloway (1926–1990) was professor of art history at the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1968 to 1981. His books include American Pop Art and Topics in American Art Since 1945. James Schuyler (1923–1991) is author of The Morning of the Poem, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981, and the recently reissued novel What’s for Dinner?


The Jewish Museum, New York (October 27, 2006 – March 18, 2007)

"Outstanding."—Daniel Kunitz, The New York Sun

"Surveys nearly 50 years of Katz’s portraits of his strikingly beautiful wife as she evolves from Pop princess to ever-so-slightly-wrinkled mature woman."—Mary Abbe, Minneapolis Star Tribune