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London

Annely Juda Fine Art

Exhibition Detail
LEON KOSSOFF
23 Dering Street
London W1s 1AW
United Kingdom


October 29th, 2010 - December 17th, 2010
 
Cherry Tree, Early January 2004, Leon KossoffLeon Kossoff, Cherry Tree, Early January 2004

© Courtesy of the Artist and Annely Juda Fine Art
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A major exhibition of 27 recent paintings and drawings by leading British artist Leon Kossoff will be held at Annely Juda Fine Art in London opening on 28 October 2010.

The exhibition is the first solo show of Kossoff to be held in a London gallery for nearly a  decade and is the artist’s first major exhibition in London since the Drawing from Painting exhibition at the National Gallery in 2007.

Kossoff (b.1926) is one of Britain’s greatest living artists. He continues to paint scenes of  London as one of his abiding subjects – such as Hawksmoor’s Christchurch, Spitalfields,  which is represented in the exhibition by three major works.

Central to the exhibition are depictions of a single cherry tree in a Willesden garden that  Kossoff had viewed for years. When the tree began to lean, the decision was made to  buttress it with two wooden stakes, rather than let it fall to decay. It is in this rather poignant  form that it became the focus of the body of work, both painted and drawn. It once must have  belonged to a larger orchard, before the surrounding gardens were built, and in its singular  form displays both strength and dignity. As with so much of Kossoff’s work, the paintings’ resonance comes from the artist’s ability to render a very personal response to the long,  careful and considered observation of his subjects, which at the same time are able to  communicate rather universal sentiments. These recent paintings are a revelation – still  impregnated with the paint and rich brushwork that have come to define Kossoff, they are  gentle in tone and palette and are particularly atmospheric.

A group of portrait heads representing three studio models he has returned to for years (John,  Peggy and Fidelma), are marked by tenderness and are captivating in their quietude.

Leon Kossoff has written about these paintings as follows:

“These paintings are about one tree. A cherry tree in a garden that may have been part of an  orchard before the nearby house was built. One large bough was deteriorating and should  have been removed. Instead, we decided to support it with stakes. Though it took some time  to become used to the stakes, as time passed the staked tree seemed to have always been  there. The subject, so different from the work I had been engaged with at Christchurch,  became part of my working life.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated, hardback catalogue.

This exhibition will continue to Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York and LA Louver, Venice, CA.


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