The Booking Hall
Size41cm x 37cm
ProvenanceBernard Jacobson Gallery, London
About the Artist
Leon KOSSOFF B.1926
Leon Kossoff is one of Britain’s greatest living artists, best known for his heavily impasto figurative and cityscape paintings with anemphasis on drawing, both as a medium itself and as an intrinsic part of his painting process. Together with his friend Frank Auerbach, Kossoff developed an extremely visceral, expressive mode of capturing post-war London, in both rough in-situ drawings and heavily reworked paintings.
Kossoff, grew up in London’s East End and the city always has been and continues to be one of his most abiding subjects. His pictures of London, are generally of areas where he lived, from the East End and City to Willesden and Kilburn. His urban subjects include railway bridges and sidings, churches and other imposing local buildings and building sites.
The subject matter of Kossoff’s prints, in common with that of his paintings and drawings, is dominated by the streets and neighbourhoods of inner London and by a small circle of family and friends, and is often closely related to particular paintings and drawings. Prints made include scenes in and around the Underground station in Kilburn, a particular street in Willesden, and the church of Christ Church, Spitalflelds, around the corner from Kossoff’s East End childhood home, Brick Lane.
Kossoff’s prints serve an auto-didactic function, similar to that of his numerous preparatory drawings: the process of printmaking, like that of drawing, contributes to the artist’s understanding of his own subject, and this makes a study of Kossoff’s prints particularly useful. For, while he destroys countless drawings for every one he keeps, all the proofs of his prints have been preserved, thus providing a unique opportunity to discover how Kossoff builds up his images. The numerous state proofs testify to the fact that there is more taking place than technical experimentation: