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b. 1926, United Kingdom

Leon Kossoff Biography

Like his contemporaries Frank Auerbach, Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, Kossoff painted that which he knew best. In limiting his subject to the immediate vicinity of his neighbourhood, the anonymous people that passed through these places and the friends that posed for his portraits, Kossoff transformed the everyday into the extraordinary. Through the constant reworking and manipulating of the painting’s surface, Kossoff encapsulates the essence of his model in thick impasto or vigorously applied charcoal and pastel markings. He thus demonstrates an acute physical relationship with his compositions.

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Kossoff's work is enlivened by a tangible and wholly unique sense of familiarity with its subject, capturing the private face of long-lived experience in an active metropolis. Although he frequently returns to paint the same scene twice, the changing mood, light, and seasons prevent him from wandering into the realms of repetition. It is thus this changing landscape of London that draws the artist back to his urban landscape again and again.

Leon Kossoff Featured Artworks

School Building, Willesden I by Leon Kossoff contemporary artwork
Leon KossoffSchool Building, Willesden I, 1980Charcoal and pastel on paper
69.9 x 100.3 cm
Offer Waterman Contact Gallery
Fidelma with Raised Arms by Leon Kossoff contemporary artwork
Leon KossoffFidelma with Raised Arms, 1981Oil on board
42.5 x 31 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery

Leon Kossoff Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Leon Kossoff, Everyday London at Timothy Taylor, New York
29 March–24 May 2019 Leon Kossoff Everyday London Timothy TaylorNew York

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