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Lithograph on RK Burt white mould-made paper. Edition of 50: this impression 10/50. Signed by the artist and numbered 10/50 lower right in pencil.
While the title states that “Some do not”, some do — and here, two lovers heighten their intimacy with a taboo sexual act. With her head to the bedding, a woman with sunny blonde hair exposes herself to a man who grasps her thighs from behind. A moody, shadowed background sets off the pair, dappled in soft black speckles. Translucent hues of yellow, cream, and flesh set off Kitaj’s characteristic fine line work. The delicacy of this mark-making lends softness and intimacy to an otherwise graphic tryst.
Known for his expressive style and charged imagery, Kitaj went against the grain of abstraction during his career, producing nuanced figurative work. This erotic scene displays Kitaj’s ability to evoke drama with dramatic shadow, and gem-like color. Some do Not is an example of Kitaj’s interest in playful, sensual compositions that were equally inspired by art history and popular culture. In the 1970s, Kitaj went to the Petit Palais in Paris where he fell in love with a nude drawing by Edgar Degas. Kitaj was fascinated by the demimonde — women of ill repute who were often subjects of 19th century artists such as Degas.
A close friend of fellow Petersburg Press collaborator David Hockney, Kitaj was known as an expressive, superlative draftsman. Art critic Robert Hughes famously wrote of Kitaj in TIME magazine that “he draws better than almost anyone else alive.”
A copy of this print is in the collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.