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Preview image of work. chalk and charcoal on paper,  Tulips I 32906


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Tulips I

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Alex Katz (Brooklyn, New York, 7/24/1927 - )


Tulips I

Creation Date



early 21st century


40 x 50 in. (101.6 x 127 cm)

Object Type


Creation Place

North America, United States

Medium and Support

chalk and charcoal on paper

Credit Line

Gift of Alex Katz


This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number


With unrivaled energy and enviable sense of style, Alex Katz understands how to transform mural-sized canvases into vibrant, unforgettable images. This cartoon, a to-scale drawing for the painting of the same year, offers a glimpse into the artist’s practice. Katz usually sketches a subject in oil paint on a small board and projects the image onto a larger sheet of paper. He then translates the color image into a line drawing in charcoal, capturing the essence of his motif and defining its relation to the canvas’s shape and dimensions. Following a procedure first established among Renaissance mural painters, he perforates the line with a pointed wheel, further editing the composition in the process. A pouncing of the lines with powdery red crayon transfers the image onto the canvas. With the pre-mixed oil paint on his palette ready to go, Katz is finally able to paint swiftly in his masterful wet-on-wet technique.