Kitaj. Photographs by Lee Friedlander. Text by Maria Friedlander and R.B.Kitaj. Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, 2002. 120 pp. Quarto (9.5 x 9.5 in.) Clothbound in photo-illustrated dust jacket. 96 duotone reproductions.
From the publisher:
"An intimate friendship of more than three decades is chronicled here, along with the aesthetic evolution of two major American artists. R.B. Kitaj's unusual, handsome, troubled, charismatic face has been a rich subject for Lee Friedlander's camera since the two artists became friends in 1970, when both were teaching at the University 0f California, Los Angeles. Kitaj begins and ends with photographs shot in Los Angeles, and the artist's passage from raw and vigorous young man to grizzly, white-haired prophet is charted through more than 90 images. A frank and moving series of images from 1994, focused on Kitaj during the days following his wife Sandra's sudden and unexpected death, achieve a disarming intimacy that could only have been the result of a deep and trusting friendship. Kitaj includes a reminiscence by Kitaj himself as well as an introduction by Friedlander's wife, Maria."
A great photograph is like a great translation, which gives you a little something of a more gorgeous original. It's a short- lived illusion glancing my day. That's why we place photos of loved ones around the house. They escape the tomb, don't they? We read and reread them into a spectral life.--R. B. Kitaj
"I can sympathize with Kitaj that at times he would wish to look better in a certain photo, to be rendered differently... But there we are, both Kitaj and myself, I for more than forty years and Kitaj for over thirty, accepting ourselves as subjects for a photographer we trust."