Born in 1934 in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx in New York City, Bert Katz received his BFA from Alfred University in 1956, and his MFA from Hunter College in 1959, where he studied with Robert Motherwell, a founding member of the Abstract Expressionist New York School. That same year, Katz had his first solo show at the Workshop Gallery in New York City.
From 1966 to 1974, Katz was a member of the Department of Fine Arts at The Ohio State University. In 1973, with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council, Katz created the week-long Symposium on the Visual and Performing Arts. The Symposium brought together important and controversial figures in the art world including artists Robert Wilson, Robert Smithson, Otto Muehle, Peter Blake, Viola Farber; and, art critics Lucy Lippard and Harold Rosenberg.
Returning to New York in 1974, Katz served as Director of the Great Lakes Colleges Association New York Arts Program. He taught at Parsons School of Design and the Gallatin School at New York University where his course Drawing & Painting was a curriculum staple for more than two decades.
Starting in the late 1990s and until his death in 2012, Katz turned his focus to photography; walking the streets of New York City day and night, taking thousands of photographs, many of which have never before been seen.
Katz exhibited throughout his career and his work has been included in numerous collections and museums. His lifelong devotion to Abstract Surrealism was the foundation of his work as a beloved teacher, artist, and photographer.