We are pleased to present an exhibition by sculptor Mel Katz featuring his colorful, freestanding aluminum works. A long time Portland sculptor, he is well known for his playful, abstract forms. The organic and geometric shapes, combined with primary colors, create an animated presence, bringing the sculpture to life. Highly refined in their conception, Katz develops his designs from large drawings and then constructs sculptures in model or full size form, 3’ to 8’ high, out of aluminum. These are then painted with a powder coat finish. Throughout his career, he has utilized various media: wood, plastics, cast concrete, linoleum, metal and, most recently, laser cut aluminum. With this work, Katz continues to explore conceptually the contours of form, prompting consideration of spatial relationships and the play between positive and negative space.
Mel Katz grew up in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Cooper Union Art School in 1953. He moved to Portland in 1963 as a visiting artist at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. In the decades that followed, he became well known in the Northwest as a sculptor, Professor of Art for Portland State University, and as one of the founders of Portland Center for the Visual Arts. Major exhibitions include a retrospective at the Portland Art Museum, OR in 1988. His work is part of many public and private collections, including the Portland Art Museum, OR, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Tacoma Art Museum, WA.