R.B. Kitaj: The Exile at Home

R.B. Kitaj: The Exile at Home

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Artist: R.B. Kitaj

Title: The Exile at Home

Author: Barry Schwabsky and Keith Mayerson

ISBN: 978-0-692-84650-6

Publisher: Marlborough Gallery, Inc.

Book Format: Hardcover, 13 1/2  x 9 5/8 inches, 72 pages, 74 color plates 

This catalogue is published to accompany the exhibition The Exile at Home, a solo show on R.B. Kitaj curated by Barry Schwabsky. The artist, who was part of an extraordinary cohort of artists who emerged from the Royal College of Art, was one of the most prominent painters of his time, particularly in England, where the American artist spent some four decades between the 1950s through the 1990s.

The catalogue is fully illustrated with seventy-four color plates and features essays from Shwabsky and Keith Mayerson, a contemporary American painter. Barry Schwabsky is art critic for The Nation and co-editor of international reviews for Artforum. His recent books are collections of essays: The Perpetual Guest: Art in the Unfinished Present, 2016, and Words for Art: Criticism, History, Theory, Practice, 2013 and of poetry Trembling Hand Equilibrium, 2015.

 

R.B. Kitaj was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1932, and as a child attended art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Following his studies at Cooper Union in New York and the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, he spent two years in Europe serving for the United States Army. He then continued his studies at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, and the Royal College of Art in London. Kitaj remained in Europe, living for 40 years in London, until 1997 when he moved to Los Angeles. Kitaj died in his home there in 2007, a week before his 75th birthday.

Though considered a Pop artist, Kitaj has limited interest in the culture of mass media and instead works from pictorial and literary sources. Renowned for his use of art historical references, Kitaj's work is inspired by late 19th-century French art and his Jewish identity. His paintings and prints add up to an extraordinary body of work; his prints function as an illustrated journal of an artist's life, characterized by a quest for new subject matter and innovative ways to depict it. Kitaj remains one of the most influential artists since the late 1950's and continues to link personal history with contemporary art through his unique vision. 

Kitaj's work is included in numerous public collections including the British Museum, London, England; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio; Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf, Germany; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and the Collection Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London, England; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 

R.B. Kitaj was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1932 and attended art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art as a child. After high school, he studied art at Cooper Union in New York and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Following two years in Europe as a member of the United States Army, Kitaj became a student at the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University before transferring in 1959 to the Royal College of Art in London. Kitaj remained in Europe until he moved to Los Angeles in 1997. 

Though widely considered a Pop artist, Kitaj had limited interest in the culture of mass media, instead working from pictorial and literary sources. Kitaj was inspired by late 19th-century French art and his own Jewish identity. His paintings and prints make up an extraordinary body of work; his prints, particularly, function as an illustrated journal of an artist's life.  They are characterized by a quest for innovative ways to depict new subject matter.

Kitaj's work is included in numerous public collections, including: the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York; British Museum, London, England; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio; Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf, Germany; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York; Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and the Collection Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; Tate Modern, London, England; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York.