(Rockland, ME) The Farnsworth Art Museum, in Rockland, Maine, is proud to announce Alex Katz as the recipient of the 2010 Maine in America Award. The award is granted by the Farnsworth’s Presidents Council to honor an individual or group who has made an outstanding contribution to Maine’s role in American art. This year’s presentation will occur during the Maine in America Summer Gala, which will take place on Saturday, June 26, on the museum grounds. The previous winners of the Maine in America Award were John Wilmerding (2006), Andrew Wyeth (2007), Will Barnet (2008) and Robert Indiana (2009).
Alex Katz is regarded as one of the most important artists of his generation. His works have been collected and exhibited internationally. Painter, printmaker, sculptor and draftsman, Katz has explored two main themes over the course of his long and successful career: landscape and the figure. It is his commitment to an essentially representational approach combined with his interest in rendering his subjects in flat, essentially unmodulated forms that sets him apart from many of his contemporaries. These simultaneous interests, in landscape and portrait, and realism and abstraction, have guided his work for more than sixty years.
From the very beginning of his career Katz has had a strong connection with Maine. Upon graduating from Cooper Union, he was a scholarship student at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in 1949. His affection for Maine was strengthened when he bought a house in Lincolnville, where he has lived and worked every summer since 1954. Not only has Katz forged a highly successful career as an artist, but he has also been a major donor of contemporary art to both the Farnsworth and the Colby College Art Museum. Primarily through the Alex Katz Foundation, he has given forty-five paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs to the Farnsworth. His generosity of spirit is matched only by his talents as one of America’s most accomplished artists.
The 2010 Maine in America Summer Gala will feature a fabulous culinary experience by Swan’s Way of Lincolnville, music by Bruce Boege and his Bel Isle Trio and Mr. Whoopee Band and lighting and audio-visual designs by Ambience Lighting Services. Dress is cocktail attire. Cost is $250 per person. Sponsorships are available All proceeds help support the museum’s public programs. Seating is limited. To make a reservation, please call 207-596-6457 ext. 143, or visit www.farnsworthmuseum.org/event/gala2010 for more information. The primary media sponsor of the 2010 Maine in America Summer Gala is Maine Home + Design.
Visitors to the Farnsworth this year will get a chance to appreciate some of Katz’s most recent paintings as the museum will present an exhibition entitled Alex Katz: New Work, which opens on Saturday, June 12 and will be on display in the museum’s Morehouse Wing through December 2010. This show will be one of the highlights of what should be an extraordinary and varied exhibition season at the Farnsworth Art Museum.
The Farnsworth Art Museum celebrates Maine’s role in American art. It offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists, with 20,000 square feet of gallery space and over 10,000 works in the collection. The Farnsworth has the second-largest public collection of works by premier 20th-century sculptor Louise Nevelson, while its Wyeth Center features works of Andrew, N.C. and Jamie Wyeth. Please visit www.farnsworthmuseum.org for more information on current exhibitions, programs and events.