June 2429, 2023
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LOT 93

Lot 93

Alex Katz (b. 1927)

Alex Katz (b. 1927)
Lot 93 Details
Alex Katz (b. 1927), American


screenprint in colours on Arches paper, the full sheet
signed and numbered 130/200, there were also 20 artist's proofs and three printer's proofs; published by Kennedy Graphics, New York
40.1 ins x 25.1 ins; 101.8 cms x 63.8 cms

Estimate $3,000-$5,000

Realised: $3,690
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
Alex Katz (b. 1927)
  • Alex Katz (b. 1927)
  • Alex Katz (b. 1927)

Private Collection, Toronto, ON


Schröder, 87


Alex Katz’s great genius lies in his ability to simplify, removing the inessential while never losing either elegance or rigor. His work is spare and unfussy, but never boring. The critic John Russell, in his review of Katz’s 1986 retrospective at the Whitney Museum, wrote that “the paintings look easy, the way Fred Astaire made dancing look easy and Cole Porter made words and music sound easy, but don't let's be fooled. When it comes to the art that conceals art, Katz is right in there with those two great exemplars.”

Printmaking has complemented Katz’s painting practice for decades, and he views his works on paper as extensions of his works on canvas. Katz has spent much of his career thinking deeply about the elusive nature of what makes a great print, explaining that “printmaking is a matter of producing the same image over and over, and the image able to stand up to that treatment isn’t easy to come by.”

In “Olympic Swimmer,” it is the splash of water and the strong diagonal lines of blue which suggest motion. Some sources suggest that this might be a portrait of Ada, Katz’s wife and longtime muse, who has been present in the artist’s work since their meeting in October 1957. A profile of Ada in the New York Times remarks on her signature eyebrows, which set her apart from other subjects of Katz’s work. Ada recounts: “Elaine de Kooning said, ‘Oh, well, you paint Ada all the time because her face has an easy outline, and she never changes her hair or anything...Another time, she told me, ‘I’m looking at your face, and you and Harold Rosenberg”’ — the art critic — “‘are the only ones who have those thick eyebrows.’ I thought, Oh, my God, that was very funny.”
We invite you to read more about Alex Katz’s prints on our blog.


Very good overall condition.
Scattered light scuff marks at edges and two handling dents at top of head.

LOT 93

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.