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Environmental Paintings

 

Katz coined the expression “environmental painting” referring to his large scale monumental landscapes such as Dawn 3 (1995), Meadow (1997), My Mother’s Dream (1998), and Winter Landscape 2 (2007). By enlarging scale exponentially in the environmental paintings and stretching their dimensions to the limits of what is practicable, Katz invites his audience to occupy their entire field of vision with his expansive canvases. At the same time his monumental paintings envelop the imagination, offering an immersive and contemplative experience in which one may imagine inhabiting the space of the painting. The viewer thus steps into the role of the figure depicted in many of Katz’s earlier works, becoming enveloped by the vast expanses of landscape.
By referring to his monumental landscapes as environmental paintings, Katz further explores the notion of an open, all-over composition -- one that is not confined by the fours edges of the painting – which is an essential tenet in his work since the 1950s when he was introduced to the work of Jackson Pollock.

Alex Katz
My Mother’s Dream (7:45 pm Monday; 7:45pm Tuesday; 7:45 pm Wednesday; 7;45 pm Thrusday), 1998
Oil on linen
320 x 868.7 cm
Courtesy of the artist