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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Leon Kossoff: A Life in Painting


L.A. Louver / Los Angeles / Art

“The subject is visited many times and a lot of drawings are made, mostly very quickly,” said the British artist Leon Kossoff (1926–2019). “The work is begun in the studio where each new drawing means a new start, until, one day, a drawing appears which opens up the subject in a new way.” Revisitation was the foundation of Kossoff’s practice. He walked the city streets, checking out neighborhoods, railways, and tube stations time and time again, and then painted them in thick expressionistic brushstrokes. Reclusive and often misunderstood, Kossoff died two years ago in London, at 92, just a few streets away from where he was born. He portrayed the changing world with accuracy: postwar destruction in the 50s, rebirth and reconstruction in the 80s, and millennial leaps after 2000. This touring show, Kossoff’s first posthumous exhibition, present 58 eloquent works. —E.C.

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