General Idea, 2010
Since the mid-1950s, Alex Katz has painted cool, spare depictions of landscapes, interiors, and figures. Although Katz’s insistence on figuration initially placed him outside the contemporary avant-garde mainstream,in which abstraction dominated, his inventive resolution of the demands of formalism and representation responded to the Pop Art movement of the 1960s and eventually established him as a leader of the new figurative tradition in painting. Often featuring his wife, family, and friends as portrait subjects, his works emphasize the flatness of the picture plane while remaining determinedly realistic, resulting in highly stylized images that appear at once specific and generic. This painting shows Katz’s son, Vincent, with his boyhood friend Tony.