DŌWD/storr interview with alex katz / by Philip Tarlow

alex katz, girl with the red scarf, oil on canvas
60 by 48 in. 152.4 by 121.9 cm.
Executed in 1976.

6:35 PM: this afternoon i found a wonderful interview with painter alex katz by robert storr. it all started while i was reading a piece storr wrote in the archile gorky retrospective catalogue. Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective (Philadelphia Museum of Art)

here's the linkhttp://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/book_report/alex-katz-robert-storr-interview-54050

here's a short excerpt:..."

De Kooning famously remarked in the 1950s that he didn’t want to “sit in style.” 

That’s total baloney! I mean, it’s embarrassing! He said, “I don’t want to paint any style” and all his paintings look alike! That’s the dumbest thing this brilliant man ever said.

Okay, granted. But it expresses a certain wish to... 

I know what he meant. He didn’t want to paint a stylized picture, where the artist changes subject matter and keeps the same style. “Stylized” is what he really meant. And stylized is a total failure. A stylized painting is in a coffin, really. It’s in bad taste. It’s bad art.

so that's storr, and that's katz. if you can get your hands on that gorky retrospective catalogue, read his section. i'm still reeling and i haven't yet read the entire piece. his insights are deep and incisive, and are making me re-evaluate everything i thought about 20th c. american art.


2:15 PM: i began a new painting/collage this morning, titled DŌWD. i am painting/collaging it on a siena ground i created on this 38x38" canvas. in this early stage, the collaged figure of a girl seated on a rock, looking off into the distance, contrasts with the loosely brushed creek-scape based upon recent creek drawings i've made. i'm going to leave it like this for tioday & see how it strikes me tomorrow morning.