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R B Kitaj

R B Kitaj

Ron Kitaj portraitRon Kitaj was born in Ohio, USA in 1932. He became a merchant seaman with a Norwegian freighter when he was 17. He studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Vienna and the Cooper Union in New York. After serving in the United States Army for two years, in France and Germany, he moved to England to study at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford and then the Royal College of Art in London, alongside David Hockney, Allen Jones and Patrick Caulfield.

Kitaj had a significant influence on British Pop art and was recognised as being one of the world’s leading draughtsmen. In his later years he developed a greater awareness of his Jewish heritage, considering himself to be a ‘wandering Jew’. He was awarded Royal Academician in 1991 and Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1995. Examples of his work are held in most major public collections worldwide. Kitaj committed suicide in 2007, eight days before his 75th birthday.
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