Ronald Brooks Kitaj RA (1932-2007)
Born in Cleveland, USA, Kitaj’s work has been the subject of both admiration and controversy. Much respected by the likes of Hockney, Freud and Auerbach, in 1984 he became the first American since Sargent to be elected to the Royal Academy.
Kitaj studied in New York in 1950-1952 before moving to the UK where he attended the Ruskin School, Oxford in 1958-9, and the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1961 where he befriended David Hockney. His first solo exhibition was held in London in 1963 and he spent some 40 years of his life in the UK. Kitaj had a significant influence on British Pop Art. His work often alludes to politics, art, literature and his Jewish identity.