R. B. Kitaj @ Marlborough Contemporary

R.B. Kitaj, I Married an Angel, 1990, oil on canvas, 48 x 47 3/4 inches (courtesy Marlborough Fine Art, London)
R.B. Kitaj, I Married an Angel, 1990, oil on canvas, 48 x 47 3/4 inches (courtesy Marlborough Fine Art, London)

John Yau reviews R. B. Kitaj: The Exile at Home at Marlborough Contemporary, New York, on view through April 8, 2017.

Yau writes: "B. Kitaj was passionately–one might almost say, defiantly–a literary painter. That was not a politic thing to be in the postwar art world, when abstraction became the mainstream and even most representational painting had a factual, empirical, or formal rather than an illustrative bent; consider such contemporaries of Kitaj’s as Lucian Freud, Philip Pearlstein, or Antonio Lopez Garcia: none of them admits overt narrative, metaphor, myth, or symbolism... As [curator Barry Schwabsky] rightly sees it, Kitaj 'helped clear' a path for artists such as 'Kerry James Marshall, Chris Ofili, Magnus Plessen, or Dana Schutz.'"