Founded in 1946 in London, Marlborough is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries. Marlborough began as representatives for a new generation of post-war British artists, such as Henry Moore and Francis Bacon. The gallery quickly expanded its business to 19th century secondary market dealings in Degas, Cassatt, Signac, Monet, Pissarro and Renoir. Through the 1960s, Marlborough presented exhibitions of new work by Bacon, Still, Moore, Pollock, David Smith and Schiele. In 1969, Marlborough presented the era-defining exhibition of Phillip Guston’s first figurative paintings in New York.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Marlborough exhibited new work by Moore, Bacon, Frank Auerbach, Lynn Chadwick, Jacques Lipschitz, Magritte, Lucian Freud, Barbara Hepworth and R.B. Kitaj. Exhibitions such as Kurt Schwitters in Exile and The Pressure to Paint are considered seminal 1980s shows. Through the 1990s, Marlborough worked directly with renowned international artists, including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Auerbach, Richard Estes, Antonio López-Garcia, Red Grooms, Kitaj and Paula Rego.
More recently, Marlborough’s program has highlighted historical shows and artist estates alongside leading contemporary artists.
“Boy with Branch I” (1975) color aquatint, edition of 90, 40 1/2 x 24 1/4 inches. Photography by Pierre Le Hors. © Alex Katz / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.
"Ada Four Times" (1979 - 80) silkscreen and lithograph in ten colors, edition of 120 + 25 AP. Photography by Pierre Le Hors. © Alex Katz / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Marlborough Graphics is pleased to participate in the 2022 International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) Print Fair with prints, drawings and paintings by Alex Katz, the legendary New York native who pioneered the reinterpretation of figurative subject matter utilizing a sophisticated, modern approach. The presentation celebrates the critical role Marlborough played in advancing the iconic New York artist’s career. In addition to representing Katz for nearly thirty years, Marlborough Graphics served as one of the primary producers of the artist’s prints from 1972 through 1978 and continued to co-produce his prints through the mid-1990s. The fair will run concurrent with the artists major retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, on view through February 20, 2023.
Alex Katz (b. 1927) first began experimenting with printmaking in 1947 while he was at The Cooper Union in Manhattan, where he received a BA in 1949. Though the artist moved away from printmaking for nearly a decade, Katz returned to the medium in the mid-1960s with vigor. Utilizing a wide variety of printmaking techniques, Katz has created more than 400 editions of lithographs, etchings, silkscreens, woodcuts, and linoleum cuts. Most often, Katz’s prints are reworkings of his paintings, as printmaking serves as a vessel to play with elements of color, shape, and form, creating works that deviate from their original.
The selection hones in on the subject that exists at the crux of Katz’s oeuvre: portraiture. Through his portraits, Katz creates a vehicle for his subjects to exist as iconography for contemporary life, pulling inspiration from characters in his milieu. Figures such as Ada, Vincent, and Sunny become instantly recognizable, as they are elevated to celebrity-like status through Katz’s repeated representation on “billboard” paintings. Katz identified the biggest challenge of portraiture as being its ability to instinctually capture the essence of his subject, stating in an interview, “Strangely enough, if you don’t have a good likeness you don’t have a good picture.”
Alex Katz’s work can be found in over 100 public collections worldwide, and has been in over 250 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group exhibitions internationally since 1951.