Did Updike fans like Alex Katz’s portrait on the cover of Time magazine?

Not according to a Time magazine story celebrating “A Century of Impact: See How TIME’s Cover Evolved Over 100 Years.”

Updike, as painted by Katz, appeared on the cover of Time after he had won the Pulitzer Prize for Rabbit Is Rich. “Speaking of Katz—the Oct. 18, 1982, cover of novelist John Updike also created an interesting pairing. Painter Alex Katz, whose work generally flattened the subject’s perspective and reduced the features, was commissioned to paint Updike, whose fans were not all pleased with the result: “What a washed-out portrait of Updike on the cover!” one reader complained. But Katz offered some advice to viewers of art: “You can wreck a painting very easily,” he noted, “if you get obsessive about likeness.”

Updike had previously appeared on the April 26, 1968 Time magazine after Couples was published and drew attention to the “post-pill paradise” of suburban America.

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