Mel Katz by Mary Randlett

Mary Randlett

Portrait of Mel Katz


gelatin silver print

11.875 x 10.25 inches

collection of the Portland Art Museum

Aptly titled Choices, the Museum of Northwest Art presents a survey of artworks by revered Portland-based sculptor Mel Katz. In 1964, Mel chose to move from New York to Portland. Shortly after, he cut into his rectangular canvas to expand his curves beyond the picture frame. Even though he was trained as a painter, Mel chose to become a sculptor. His choice of materials has changed from plastic to wood to steel over the decades. Each choice demonstrates Katz’s willingness to take risks and is owed in part to his trust that the art would find a way to evolve and be liberated from definitions about what art is and how it should be created.