High Museum Acquires Major New Works By Alex Katz and Anish Kapoor

The High Museum of Art recently acquired three important works for its contemporary art collection.

Renowned American artist Alex Katz has given the Museum a painting titled “Twilight” (1998), which is joined by the High’s recent purchases of Katz’s “Winter Landscape 2” (2007) and “Untitled” (2009), a large-scale, mirror-polished steel sculpture by Anish Kapoor. The two new Katz acquisitions have been installed in the Museum, along with two other large-scale paintings by Katz, “Dawn 3” (1995) and “Meadow” (1997), which are on long-term loan from the artist. The four monumental paintings were installed together to establish a monographic gallery dedicated to Katz in the Wieland Pavilion’s skyway galleries, joining other monographic installations by Ellsworth Kelly and Gerhard Richter.

Alex Katz, Winter Landscape 2, 2007 (detail). Oil on linen. 120 x 240 inches. Purchase with funds from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton, Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable. Courtesy of Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago and New York.

“The High’s collection of contemporary art is growing in exciting and diverse ways, and signals our commitment to creating an anthology of important 21st-century works,” commented Michael Shapiro, the High’s Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Director. “We are grateful to Alex for his generous gift of ‘Twilight’ and look forward to adding to our holdings of his work; his extraordinary paintings bridge the Museum’s fine collection of post-painterly abstraction with its expanding collection of Pop art.”

“Winter Landscape 2” (2007) and “Twilight” (1998) are the first paintings by Alex Katz to enter the High’s collection and build significantly upon the Museum’s group of important works by masters of American Pop art such as Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann. Katz is currently represented in the High’s collection by five prints produced between 1969 and 1972. Although well-known as a figurative painter, Katz has always been recognized for his landscape paintings, which have played a central role in his work from the time he studied painting at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1949–1950). Katz explains that Skowhegan’s plein air painting program gave him “a reason to devote my life to painting.”

In addition, the recently acquired steel sculpture “Untitled” (2009) by Turner Prize-winning British artist Anish Kapoor marks both a departure for the artist and a return to a seminal and emblematic form in his oeuvre―the concave dish. Now fragmented by a repeating triangular pattern, the surface of the dish distorts its viewer in a multiplicity of fragmented images, reflecting Kapoor’s interest in fractals. The work will be on view in July, alongside Kapoor’s work “Pot for Her.” In addition, the artist’s London-based studio is lending the sculpture “Marsupial” (2006). All three works will be installed together in the Wieland Pavilion, creating the first monographic installation of work by Kapoor in Atlanta.

Alex Katz
Born in 1927 in Brooklyn, New York, Alex Katz is one of the most significant artists of his generation. Over the course of five decades, Katz has produced a celebrated body of work associated with the Pop art movement that includes paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints. In addition to more than 200 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group shows internationally since 1951, his work can be found in nearly every major American museum, including The Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Katz is also well represented in many of the most prestigious European museums, including the Museum Moderne Kunst, Vienna; the Tate, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and the Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

Anish Kapoor
Anish Kapoor was born in Bombay in 1954 and moved to London in 1973 to study. He gained international attention in 1990 when he represented Great Britain at the 44th Venice Biennale, where he was awarded the Premio Duemila prize and nominated for the Turner Prize, which he won in 1991. The arc of Kapoor’s career from early performance to monumental public sculpture envelops and reflects the history of post-minimal artistic practice around the world. His work can be found in such world-renowned collections as the Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.

High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s media arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005 the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit www.High.org

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