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Walter Lippmann

R. B. Kitaj (American, 1932–2007). Walter Lippmann, 1966. Oil on canvas, 74 1/8 x 86 1/8 inches (188.3 x 218.8 cm), framed. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1967 (K1967:4). © The Estate of R. B. Kitaj, courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York.

© Estate of R. B. Kitaj, courtesy, Marlborough Gallery, New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of R. B. Kitaj, courtesy, Marlborough Gallery, New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of R. B. Kitaj, courtesy, Marlborough Gallery, New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

R. B. Kitaj

American, 1932-2007

Walter Lippmann, 1966

oil on canvas

support: 72 x 84 inches (182.88 x 213.36 cm); framed: 74 1/8 x 86 1/8 x 2 1/2 inches (188.28 x 218.76 x 6.35 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1967

K1967:4

More Details

Inscriptions

inscription / lower center right / Walter Lippman
signature / back / R.B. Kitaj
inscription / back / Walter Lippmann

Class

Paintings

Work Type

Oil painting

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Walter Lippmann (1889–1974) was an American writer and political commentator who became well known for being one of the first journalists to introduce the concept of the Cold War. However, Lippmann’s presence here is not intended to highlight matters he was connected to. Instead, R. B. Kitaj described Lippmann’s role as an interpreter, or “explainer of sorts,” similar to the narrator in Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, who speaks from time to time to ensure that the viewer understands what is going on. The painting is also an experiment in space and a masterful example of Kitaj’s ability to push the boundaries of the picture plane by building on a labyrinth of painterly, collage-like, linear interjections. The vivacious, colorful lines throughout the work carry the viewer’s eye to each scene, or act, but also serve as a metaphor for physical and psychological fragmentation between the painting’s characters. In a letter about this work dated July 1968, Kitaj said, “Let me say at once that Walter Lippmann is just about my favorite among the very few pictures I’ve made which I care for at all.”

Label from R. B. Kitaj: Don’t Listen to the Fools, June 21–September 15, 2013

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