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O'Neill oneill.jpg

O'Neill

Item Code: RBK-37xv-i
Medium
Screenprint
Edition Size
150
Signed
Initialled
Width (cm)
45.5
Height (cm)
34
Date of Work
1969
Suite
In Our Time
Base price $1,229
Includes free framing and UK delivery
Three colour screenprint, photo screenprint.

In 1962 Kitaj was introduced to the commercial screenprinter Chris Prater, with whom he would produce his finest body of prints. A self-confessed bibliophile, books frequently provided the impetus for Kitaj’s work, their torn covers appearing in early collaged prints alongside photographic negatives and hand drawn designs. In 1969, Kitaj worked closely with Prater to produce his most important meditation on literature yet: the major screenprint suite ‘In Our Time’.

Universally regarded as his graphic chef d’oeuvre, the project involved selecting 50 book covers for facsimile reproduction, each text being carefully chosen from the artist’s ever-expanding library. Ever since student days spent rifling through the shelves of 4th Avenue bookstores, books had held a special, talismanic worth for Kitaj, both as sources of education and as physical artifacts. The final collection, whittled down from countless volumes, showcased works Kitaj considered significant for their literary contribution, the intensity of their reading experience, and their enduring aesthetic appeal.

In their simple power of replication, in the naked presentation of each time-worn jacket, Kitaj’s prints constitute a powerful document, a diary, almost, crystallising moments of social change and the changes within his own life.
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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