The Old Print Shop

Ronald Katz


Ronald Katz was born in South Africa in 1939 to parents who emigrated from Germany and spent his first ten years there before settling permanently in the U.S. He attended public school in New York City and graduated from Queens College with a BA in mathematics and minors in physics and art.

Katz honed his skills by studying painting and drawing at the Albert Pels Art School. The Art Students League, the School for Visual Arts, Pratt Graphics Center, and Parsons/The New School. He was fortunate to study watercolor, with Barse Miller, drawing with Elias Friedensohn, and color and oil painting with John Ferren, among others. He has also studied fresco painting.

Katz has devoted many years to printmaking, lithography, and etching, working initially with John Ross, then more extensively with Mohammed Khalil. He has also produced many silk-monotypes, working with the late Sheila Marbain who developed this process.

An epicure and an auto-didact, Katz's diverse interests include classical music, natural science, archeology, and art history. All of these subjects are reflected in his work. He has a well-trained ear and an equally precise visual sense. The analogy between music and the visual world permeates Katz's thinking about art. His sense of color, composition, foreground, background, and complexity all have musical corollaries.

Katz also has a profound interest in antiquity and the artist's place within it, evidence of which can be seen in several of his works. Likewise, his childhood fascination and love for the natural world manifests itself in many of his paintings. His renderings of animals, minerals, fossils and the like suggest both a desire to explore the tension between human agency and the natural world and the need to preserve their delicate balance.