Ronald Brooks Kitaj (American, 1932–2007) was an artist loosely associated with the Pop Art movement and best known for his brightly-colored, figurative paintings that allude to political history and the effects of mass media on modern life. Born in Cleveland, OH, Kitaj studied at the Royal College of Art in London alongside David Hockney, and lived in England for most of his life. Many of Kitaj’s paintings draw from historical and cultural narratives, especially relating to the Jewish tradition, and question ideas of artistic progress. His If Not, Not (1975), for example, is based on T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land and depicts a distorted landscape of stagnant water, a broken Henri Matisse bust, scattered books, and a building that represents the gate into Auschwitz. In his The Autumn of Central Paris (1972), Kitaj constructs a crowd of fragmented, overlapping figures lead by the philosopher Walter Benjamin. In 1991, Kitaj received an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art in London, and won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1995. He has held solo exhibitions at the Tate Gallery in London, the Marlborough Gallery in New York, and the National Gallery in London.