Despite notable influences from different art tendencies, his work is difficult to place. Katz was a contemporary of the second - generation abstract painters in North America. For example, Katz turned his attention to large format canvases highly influenced by Action Painting. On another note, his loyalty to figurative art led many critics, coinciding with the blooming of Pop Art in the early 60s, to consider him as one of the most ingenious pioneers of this nourishing art movement.
Despite, his clear abiding interests with other artistic groups, his work does not easily fit into any of the artistic movements that have been defined in the second half of the 20th century. His paintings seem at first glance to convey an apparent innocence and simplicity. But, these characteristics only shadow off momentarily the great complexity embedded in his work.
Alex Katz’s paintings are characterized by their smooth surfaces in which it is almost impossible to notice the slightest painterly trace. In order to achieve such quality end results, his work follows a complex step-by-step process. The exhibition aimed to unfold the underlying process by displaying one of the oil on canvas works next to its preparatory drawings and sketches. To a certain extent, his work recalls fresco-painting techniques. When Katz begins a piece he draws from life on location, producing the first meticulous drawings. On these mere studies, he writes down the chromatic and luminous aspects that he will later on carry out. The outline of the final design is laid down on a heavy paper and then riddled with holes so that when powdered burnt sienna pigment is dusted over the drawing a trace of the final composition is left on the canvas surface which is laid beneath.