Alex Katz - Luna Park II
American, b. 1927
Luna Park II, 1973
Screenprint, 40 x 60 inches
Edition 12/60
Brooke Alexander

Gift of Citigroup Inc.

Alex Katz’s art blends an American tradition of landscape and portraiture with the simplifications and bold color of Pop Art. Emerging for recognition in the 1960s, he is associated with a revival of realism that included, among others, Philip Pearlstein and David Hockney.

Luna Park II is an elaboration of the painting Luna Park (1960) and the screeprint Luna Park (1965). Katz, at this point in his printmaking, unabashedly wishes to create reproductions of his painting. His ambition was to make the print as vital in color and surface as the painting from which it was derived. For the first screenprint of Luna Park, he mixed 63 different gray inks to get the background color just right. In 1973, he returned to the image to get the colors even more accurate from his point-of-view. But he later admitted that he still couldn't tell which print was better, which makes for a very interesting comparison of the painting and the two screenprints. Simplified to basic shapes and three colors - black, gray and white - Luna Park II is hauntingly suggestive of greater meaning as the two trees and the near and far shores frame the centered moon and its watery reflection.