HISTORY'S BAD DREAMS

THE EMBATTLED R.B. KITAJ EVOKES EDGY POETRY FROM THE 20TH CENTURY IMAGE-MEMORY

When it was at the Tate Gallery in London a few months ago, R.B. Kitaj's retrospective show received a drubbing from English critics such as few artists ever have to endure in a lifetime. Indeed, the reviews were so bilious that this critic found himself wondering whether an artist he had admired for years might not have had a doppelganger-another R.B. Kitaj, pretentiously eclectic, too big for his boots and not much good with the brush, who had somehow snuck his God-awful daubs into the Tate ahead of the real one. But no; the show has now arrived at New York...

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