In the more than 500 working drawings by Alex Katz reproduced here, we are able to look over the artist’s shoulder at works in their nascent state–a rare experience essential to any understanding of the artist’s oeuvre. Like a sculptor’s preparatory drawings, these are the sketches of a painter who is not a draftsman but a painter; they are the raw material, revealing Katz’s methods of looking and recording. Contours, overlappings, movements and attitudes are put to paper ever so quickly, with observation given top priority. Subject development, composition and memory are all elements that come about afterwards, when the artist takes up the paintbrush and moves to the canvas. First Sight contains a vast array of previously unpublished sketches and drawings, printed here in facsimile, at a scale of 1:1, and spanning the entire career of the artist, from 1950 to the present. Essay by Jean-Christophe Ammann.