West interior | Alex Katz | 1979
Alex Katz went to The Cooper Union to study Modern Art theories and techniques. He completed his education in 1949, when the abstract expressionism was the dominant paradigm in the late 40s in New York. Artists like Pollock, Rothko and De Kooning were putting the focus of their art in the expression of the unconscious without depicting formal objects or living things.
However, Katz didn’t care to be in style and never sought leaving figurative painting. Gradually, he began to paint fields of flat colors in his canvases, a main characteristic of his style. Katz was ahead of his time as this technique was mimicked by the pop artists ten years after. In the late 50s, Katz devoted himself to portrait his family and friends, as in West interior, painting in which we can look at his wife Ada.