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R.B. Kitaj (1932-2007), Painter

Sitter in 6 portraits
Artist of 4 portraits
American painter, who travelled extensively as a sailor before attending the Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford and the Royal College of Art, where he was an important influence on his younger contemporaries, such as David Hockney. Drawing on many sources of inspiration, his figure-based work is complex and often autobiographical. In 1994 his Tate retrospective received a harsh critical reception. This, combined with the sudden death of his second wife, painter Sandra Fisher, led him to leave London for Los Angeles in 1997.

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R.B. Kitaj with his wife, Elsi, and their son, Lem

by Lord Snowdon
bromide print, 6 December 1962
NPG P797(55)


R.B. Kitaj

by Frank Auerbach
etching, 1980
NPG 6558


R.B. Kitaj ('Self-Portrait: Hockney Pillow')

by R.B. Kitaj
oil on canvas, 1993-1994
On display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6791


R.B. Kitaj

by Fergus Greer
bromide fibre print, 1998
NPG x127796