Leon Kossoff b.1926

Painter of figures, portraits, suburban scenes and landscapes in oils. Born in London of Russian-Jewish parents, he studied at St Martin’s School of Art from 1948 to 1953. In the evenings from 1950-52 he studied at the Borough Polytechnic under David Bomberg and then from 1953 to 1956 he studied at the Royal College of Art. He had solo exhibitions at Helen Lessore’s Beaux Arts Gallery from 1957 to 1964, subsequently showing in London Galleries (including Anthony d’Offay), and in America. He has exhibited internationally in group shows and his work is represented in collections including the Tate Gallery. He taught at the Regent Street Polytechnic, Chelsea School of Art and St Martin’s School of Art. A friend of Auerbach, his work was influenced by Bomberg in its expressionist style and it combines cool colours, thickly worked impasto and vigorous line accents.

In 1995, Kossoff exhibited at the 46th Venice Biennale and in 1996 was the subject of a Tate Gallery retrospective. In 2007, London’s National Gallery held an exhibition of Kossoff’s work entitled “Leon Kossoff: Drawing from Painting”. Kossoff died at the age of 92 on 4 July 2019 from complications of a stroke.

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