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A life (B) by R.B. Kitaj

A life (B) by R.B. Kitaj

Petersburg Press

Colour Lithograph


Edition Size: 50

Sheet Size: 29 x 21 inches

Reference: Jane Kinsman The Prints of R.B. Kitaj, Scolar Press in association with the National Gallery of Australia 1994, no. 85 Jennifer Ramkalawon Kitaj Prints: a catalogue raisonné, The British Museum Press 2013, no. 198, illustrated p. 180


Condition: Pristine

Details — Click to read

Signed by the artist and numbered 49/50 lower left in pencil. Color lithograph on mauve Wookey Hole handmade waterleaf paper.

This print features the encounter between an alluring woman dressed in red, and a man with his back to the viewer. The light of a streetlamp is beautifully imitated with speckled texture that silhouettes the man.

The composition of A Life is based on Kitaj’s pastel work Femme de Peuple II, and a pulp novel’s salacious cover.

Known for his expressive style and charged imagery, Kitaj went against the grain of abstraction during his career, producing nuanced figurative work. This image displays Kitaj’s ability to evoke emotion and drama with fluid lines and bold color.

Copies of this lithograph are in the collections of the British Council, London; and the British Museum, London.


The Artist

R.B. Kitaj

R.B. Kitaj was born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. He enjoyed an extensive period in academia during the 1950s, first studying at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York from 1950-51, then returning in 1952. He spent time in the Merchant Navy in 1951 also attending the Academy of Fine Art, Vienna. Kitaj then went on to the Ruskin School of drawing in Oxford in 1958-9, and the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1961. Kitaj recalled: “It was at the Royal College where, in the first week, I began my constant friendship with the amazing Hockney.”

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