R.B. Kitaj, ‘POGANY’, 1966, Alpha 137 Gallery
R.B. Kitaj, ‘POGANY’, 1966, Alpha 137 Gallery
R.B. Kitaj, ‘POGANY’, 1966, Alpha 137 Gallery
R.B. Kitaj, ‘POGANY’, 1966, Alpha 137 Gallery
R.B. Kitaj, ‘POGANY’, 1966, Alpha 137 Gallery
R.B. Kitaj, ‘POGANY’, 1966, Alpha 137 Gallery
R.B. Kitaj, ‘POGANY’, 1966, Alpha 137 Gallery
R.B. Kitaj, ‘POGANY’, 1966, Alpha 137 Gallery
R.B. Kitaj, ‘POGANY’, 1966, Alpha 137 Gallery

R.B. Kitaj, one of the most erudite and literate of the Young British Pop artists coming of age in the late 1950s, was known for creating works that present the viewer with a range of historical, literary, religious and artistic references, including books, art, events, or significant figures of the past; implicit (and explicit) to these works is his cultural commentary. The present work, Pogany, is a classic example, as it features five sketched heads which are reminiscent of Constantine Brancusi’s sculpted heads of Mademoiselle Pogany that were created in the early 20th century. However, above are five modern and risque images, accompanied by textual commentary featuring sexual and provocative messages - i.e. "Having secured a customer, the prostitute leads him to her apartment. He does not want to walk with her, only follow.."
This is a rare mid 1960s print, published in a limited edition of only 70. Many editions of "Pogany" are already in major museum and public collections worldwide and it is very difficult nowadays to come by this piece. The present work has gentle creases and handling marks throughout (please take a look at the additional photographs included after the first stock header image), that could be straightened or would frame out, but do note the condition issues of this vintage piece, and buy as is. (unframed)
A terrific work on paper by this fascinating artist. Quintessential Kitaj. Especially uncommon stateside.
Published by Chris Prater, Kelpra Studios London with chop mark verso.
Cat Raisonné: Kinsman(1994), 20
Cross-reference: Ramkalawon 22; Kinsman 20

Signature: Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 70 Stamped in ink on reverse l.l.: K (in a square; Kelpra Studio) / 6684, with a pencil inscription adjacent

Cat Raisonné: Kinsman(1994), 20
Cross-reference: Ramkalawon 22; Kinsman 20

About R.B. Kitaj

Among the most significant post-war painters whose work and writings helped to define the School of London, R.B. Kitaj produced complex, boldly expressive compositions dense with references to art, literature, and, most significantly, Judaism. As he explained: “The Jewish question, in its infinity, is the central drama and romance of my life and art.” Drawing enduring inspiration from the works of Paul Cézanne, one of his favorite artists, as well as intellectuals like Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin, Kitaj approached art-making with a combination of formal and conceptual rigor. His ambitious paintings and prints are precisely composed and resolutely, though loosely, figurative. Ranging from deeply personal self-portraits and vignettes from his own life to nuanced explorations of history, politics, and ideas, all of his works convey his lust for expression and his passion for intellection.

American, 1932-2007, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Solo Shows

2017
Marlborough Graphics, New York,

Fair History on Artsy

2014
Marlborough Gallery at The Armory Show 2014