He was an America artist with Jewish roots who spent much of his life in England.
Kitaj had a significant influence on British pop art.
Kitaj studied at the Cooper Union Institute in New York in 1950-1 and 1952. He was a student at the Academy of Fine Art, Vienna in 1951. He attended the Ruskin School, Oxford in 1958-9, and the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1961.
He taught at the University of California Berkeley in 1967-8 and the University of California Los Angeles in 1970-1. In 1972 he returned to London. In 1976 Kitaj selected for the Arts Council of Great Britain a group of British works, connected by a common theme, which formed the core of an exhibition called "The Human Clay".
Kitaj's essay for the catalogue, in which he proposed the idea of a School of London , became one of the key art historical texts of the period. In 1989 he published the First Diasporist Manifesto.
Kitaj returned to the US in 1997 and settled in Los Angeles and in the 21st October he died.