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The renowned American-born artist R.B. Kitaj (1933–2007) was a major figure on the London art scene in the 1960s and 1970s, along with Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Lucian Feud and Frank Auerbach, all of whom he would include in his 1976 exhibition The Human Clay, a daring celebration of figurative art.
Kitaj first visited the British Museum’s Print Room with his wife in the 1970s. Before his death in 2007, the artist had decided to leave a substantial gift to the British Museum, of almost 300 works on paper, so that his prints might reside alongside the Old Masters in the collection. Kitaj’s generous gift has made the Museum’s holdings of the artist’s works on paper the most comprehensive in Europe. This sumptuous selection of highlights from the Museum’s collection reveals key developments in the artist’s career.