Leon Kossoff is one of the most important figurative painters at work today and is commonly assoictaed with a circle of School of London painters that includes Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and R.B. Kitaj.
At the centre of Kossoff's work is the human figure either in isolation or in urban or domestic settings and the subject is always intimately known, whether it be the seated studio subject or people in the streets of the city.
1926 Born in London.
1938-43 Attended Hackney Downs School, London.
1939-43 Evacuated with school to King's Lynn, Norfolk. Lived with Mr. And Mrs. R.C. Bishop who encouraged his interest in art. Made his first paintings.
1943 Returned to London. Attended life drawing classes at Toynbee Hall, Commercial Street and St. Martin's School of Art, London.
1943-45 Commercial art course at St. Martin's School of Art.
1945-48 Military service with Royal Fusiliers, attached to 2nd Battalion Jewish Brigade. Served in Italy, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
1949-53 Studied at St. Martin's School of Art and the Borough Polytechnic, where he and fellow pupil, Frank Auerbach, were taught by David Bomberg.
1953-56 Studied at the Royal College of Art.
1956 Joined Helen Lessore's Beaux Arts Gallery, Bruton Place, London.
1959-69 Taught at Regent Street Polytechnic, Chelsea School of Art, and St. Martin's School of Art.
1966 Moved studio to Willesden Green.
1972-5 Occupied an additional studio in Dalston Lane, north London.
1976 First Kilburn Underground paintings.
1995 Represented Britain at the Venice Biennale.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2002 Leon Kossoff, Annandale Galleries, Sydney
Kossoff: Drawn to Painting after Poussin, Rubens and Other Related Works, Pillsbury & Peters Fine Art, Dallas, Texas
2000 Leon Kossoff, Annely Juda Gallery, London
1996 Leon Kossoff, Tate Gallery, London
1995 Leon Kossoff, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1988; 1993 Leon Kossoff, Anthony D'Offay Gallery, London
1984 Leon Kossoff, Fischer Fine Art, London
1983 Leon Kossoff, Hirschl and Adler Modern, New York
1982 Leon Kossoff, L.A. Louver, Los Angeles
1981 Leon Kossoff, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford
1973;1975;1979 Leon Kossoff, Fischer Fine Art, London
1972 Leon Kossoff, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1966 Leon Kossoff, Marlborough Fine Art, London
1979 and 1984 Leon Kossoff, Fischer Fine Art, London
1957-1964 Leon Kossoff, Six exhibitions at the Beaux Arts Gallery, London
Selected Group Exhibitions
2006 Portraits, James Hyman Gallery, London
2005 Fifty Years of British Landscape Painting, James Hyman Gallery, London
2003 From Life: Andrews, Auerbach, Bevan, Bomberg, Coldstream, Kossoff, Sickert, Uglow, James Hyman Gallery, London
2002 Twentieth Century British paintings and drawings, James Hyman Gallery, London
2001 Auerbach, Bacon, Freud, Kossoff, James Hyman Gallery, London
Tate Collection, London
MoMa Collection, New York
National Galleries of Scotland
Elliott, David, introduction to exhibition catalogue, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1981
Gowing, Lawrence, Here Comes the Diesel', introduction to exhibition catalogue, Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, 1988
Hyman, James The Prints of Leon Kossoff', Print Quarterly, 1993
Hyman, James Leon Kossoff', Modern Painters, Spring 1993
Hyman, James, Leon Kossoff',Tate magazine, Summer 1996
Hyman, James, exhibition catalogue, Auerbach, Bacon, Freud, Kossoff, James Hyman Fine Art, 10 May - 22 July 2000
Hyman, James, The Battle for Realism, Yale University Press, 2001
Hyman, James From Tragedy to Joie de Vivre: Some Thoughts on the Work of Bacon, Freud, Kossoff and Auerbach', exhibition catalogue, Bacon, Freud, Kossoff, Auerbach, Galerie Sander, Berlin, 2003
Hyman, James, Radical Figuration', From Life, exhibition catalogue, James Hyman Fine Art, 10 September - 18 October 2003
Mercer, David, introduction to exhibition catalogue, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1972
Moorhouse, Paul, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London, 1996
Sylvester, David, Rudi Fuchs, exhibition catalogue, Venice Biennale, 1995