The Colby College Museum of Art
will receive, from the Alex Katz Foundation, a collection of six paintings by the American modernist painter Marsden Hartley, Museum Director and Chief Curator Sharon Corwin announced.
"This tremendous gift is a testament to Alex Katz's vision for the Colby Museum and the visual arts in Maine," said Corwin. Both Katz and Hartley have connections to Maine: Hartley was born in Lewiston and Katz has spent summers in Lincolnville since 1949.
The six Hartley paintings from the Katz Foundation are currently on view in the museum's Lunder Wing alongside three Hartley paintings already in the museum's permanent collection, affording an opportunity to examine a retrospective exhibition of the artist's work. "Through the Katz Foundation's astounding generosity, we can now present the full range of Hartley's work, which is so important to the foundation of American modernism."
The paintings include two still lifes and three Maine landscapes, including a dynamic view of City Point, Vinalhaven, and a hauntingly beautiful painting of the Bavarian mountains. "Each one of these paintings is a gem," Corwin said, "and the collection as a whole is extraordinary."
Alex Katz, a prominent figure in contemporary art known for his large-scale figurative paintings, founded the Alex Katz Foundation in 2004 to support artists and museums through the purchase and donation of works of art. Since 2004, the Alex Katz Foundation has given the Colby Museum more than 100 works of art worth more than $4 million. Other recipients of gifts from the Katz Foundation include the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Farnsworth Art Museum, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
In addition to the Hartley paintings, the Katz Foundation has given the Colby Museum works by Jennifer Bartlett, Joe Brainard, Rudy Burckhardt, Chuck Close, Adolph Gottlieb, Gary Hume, Elizabeth Murray, Dana Schutz, and Philip Taaffe among others. Alex Katz's deep and personal commitment to contemporary art and artists is evident in the range of work that he has given, from emerging to internationally recognized artists, figurative and abstract art, and a range of media.