Art: The Last History Painter

Expatriate R.B. Kitaj brings home the Bacon

One of the master images of 20th century art and literature was the City: the ville tentaculaire, condenser of populations and their unease, republic of anxiety, seedbed of desire. From Edvard Munch's top-hatted masks parading the streets of Oslo to Francis Bacon's pinstriped executives howling like caged baboons, the City secreted images of alienation. To the eye of modernist poetry it got more spectral as one came closer to it, as the capitals of Christendom did for T.S. Eliot in The Waste Land, almost 60 years ago:...

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