School of Los Angeles
R.B. Kitaj at Hammer Museum
RB Kitaj presented a lecture on his art at the Hammer Museum on Thursday, March 8, 2007
Los Angeles no. 20 1990-2003
Collection of the National Gallery of Australia
"Don't listen to the fools who say either that pictures of people can be of no consequence or that painting is finished. There is much to be done. It matters what men of good will want to do with their lives."
We are fortunate to have Kitaj back in Los Angeles. Much like Alex and Jane Eliot, Kitaj should be declared a living national treasure. Almost thirty years ago Kitaj curated an exhibition, for the Arts Council of Great Britain, entitled The Human Clay. Let me be the first to propose a new exhibition incorporating Kitaj's School of London with our new - School of L.A.
The School of London - School of L. A. connection is a natural one with Kitaj and Hockney working here and inspiring a whole new generation of artists. In the catalog essay for the original Human Clay exhibition, Kitaj wrote, "If some of the strange and fascinating personalities you may encounter here were given a fraction of the internationalist attention and encouragement reserved in this barren time for provincial and orthodox vanguardism, a School of London might become even more real than the one I have construed in my head. " Substitute Los Angeles for London, and the above sentence supports the brave efforts of many, including Caryn Coleman's and Mark Vallen's mission to encourage the development of a vital art press in Los Angeles.
As artists, gallerists, curators, writers and collectors, we need to come together and refuse to accept the status quo.
I hope that this School of L.A. which I have construed in my head, will become real. RB Kitaj - we need you.
R.B. Kitaj Lectures at Hammer Museum