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 Kitaj, Ron B.
TIMELINE: Pop Art

Kitaj, Ron B. (1932- ). American painter and graphic artist, active mainly in England, where he has been one of the most prominent figures of the Pop art movement.

Before becoming a student at the Royal College of Art, Kitaj had travelled widely (he was a merchant seaman, then served in the US army) and his wide cultural horizons gave him an influential position among his contemporaries (he studied with Hockney and Allen Jones), particularly in holding up his own preference for figuration in opposition to the prevailing abstraction.

After a visit to Paris in 1975, he was inspired by Degas to take up pastel, which he has used for much of his subsequent work. Late 19th-century French art has been a major source of inspiration, as has a preoccupation with his Jewish identity, and he has said: `I took it into my cosmopolitan head that I should attempt to do CÚzanne and Degas and Kafka over again, after Auschwitz.' Unlike the majority of Pop artists, Kitaj has had relatively little interest in the culture of the mass media and has evolved a multi-evocative pictorial language, deriving from a wide range of pictorial and literary sources-- indeed he has declared that he is not a Pop artist.


917 x 930 176.1K
176.1K, 917 x 930

Amerika (Baseball)
Painted: 1983-84
Oil on canvas
152.4 x 152.4 cm
Private collection
New York

If Not, Not
Painted: 1975-76
Oil on canvas
152.4 x 152.4 cm
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Edinburgh

921 x 930 159.4K
159.4K, 921 x 930

776 x 1061 206.2K
206.2K, 776 x 1061

Mary Ann
Painted: 1980
Pastel and charcoal on paper
77.5 x 56 cm
Private collection
London

Marynka Smoking
Painted: 1980
Pastel and charcoal on paper
90.8 x 56.5 cm
Collection of the artist

719 x 1169 182.1K
182.1K, 719 x 1169

923 x 929 187.9K
187.9K, 923 x 929

The Oak Tree
Painted: 1991
Oil on canvas
152.7 x 152.4 cm
Private collection

The Ohio Gang
Painted: 1964
Oil on canvas
182.9 x 182.9 cm
The Museum of Modern Art
New York

877 x 943 124.4K
124.4K, 877 x 943

677 x 1207 229.6K
229.6K, 677 x 1207

Passion (1940-45) Writing
Painted: 1985
Oil on canvas
45.7 x 26.7 cm
Collection of the artist