The Second Diasporist Manifesto - Kitaj, R.B. - Yale University Press
Art and Architecture

The Second Diasporist Manifesto

  • R. B. Kitaj
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Out of Print.

This book, a follow up to Kitaj’s influential First Diasporist Manifesto (1989), is a personal reflection on the Jewish Question in contemporary art as it is lived and painted and imagined by one of today's most innovative and controversial artists. In 615 distinct propositions that deliberately echo the Commandments of Jewish Law, Kitaj here channels his ideas for a new Diasporist art in a daring stream of consciousness. Including 41 images of the artist’s work chosen by him to accompany the text, this beautifully crafted volume is a unique and fascinating look into an artist’s unusual life and work.


From The Second Diasporist Manifesto:

“But I swore to become myself—the new Jewish painter of a skeptical Diasporist art, born in Modernism, which cleaves to my own uncanny Jewish life of study, painting, unthinkable thoughts and near death....I admit that my Manifesto-poem is very personal, as a poem can be. But one would have to also unpack the cultural secrets of a book on Islamic Art, or Chinese or Egyptian or African Art.  My Jewish Art lives a more Modernist Secret life. The Jewish Diaspora is not the only one.  It’s just mine.”



R. B. Kitaj, described by John Russell as “the most inventive of living representational painters,” won the Grand Prize for Painting (Gold Lion) at the Venice Biennale in 1995. Kitaj is one of only a handful of American painters who has been given a retrospective at The Metropolitan Museum of Art during his own lifetime. His work is in museum collections worldwide.