R. B. Kitaj. Born, Ronald Brooks October 29, 1932. Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Dead, October 21, 2007
Kitaj had a significant influence on British Pop art, with his figurative paintings featuring areas of bright colour, economic use of line and overlapping planes which made them resemble collages, but eschewing most abstraction and modernism.In his later years, he developed a greater awareness of his Jewish heritage, which found expression in his works, with reference to the Holocaust and influences from Jewish writers such as Kafka and Walter Benjamin, and he came to consider himself to be a "wandering Jew".He died in Los Angeles in October 2007, eight days before his 75th birthday.Seven weeks after Kitaj's death, the Los Angeles County coroner ruled that the cause of death was suicide by suffocation, saying the artist placed a plastic bag over his head.