Leon Kossoff

  • Born 1926 in London, UK
Leon Kossoff, an Expressionist painter of the so-called School of London, is most noted for portraits, life drawings, and cityscapes around London. Before serving in Italy, Belgium, Holland, and Germany during his military service from 1945 to 1948, he took commercial art and drawing classes. After the war, he studied at the Saint Martin's School of Art and the Borough Polytechnic (1949 to 1953). His instructor was the painter David Bomberg (1890–1957) and a fellow student was the painter Frank Auerbach (b. 1931). Kossoff studied at the Royal College of Art until 1956, then joined Helen Lessore's Beaux Arts Gallery in London, where his work was featured in six exhibitions. A major solo show was held at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1972. Kossoff’s paintings are built of thick layers of paint applied with distinct and broad brushstrokes. His favorite subjects are the areas where he has lived as well as the people he sees on the streets. He has often painted the booking hall at Kilburn Underground. Along with his career as an artist, Kossoff held teaching positions at the Regent Street Polytechnic, Chelsea School of Art, and Saint Martin's School of Art. In 1995 he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale.

Artworks by Leon Kossoff in the exhibition