British artist Leon Kossoff was instrumental in the revitalization of representational art in the United Kingdom following World War II, and a new exhibition offers American audiences an opportunity to view drawings and paintings of the city that inspires much of his art.
Leon Kossoff has established himself among the most significant contemporary chroniclers of London’s people and architecture. A traveling exhibition on view now at L.A. Louver Gallery in Venice, California, offers a penetrating look at Kossoff’s visual record of London. “Leon Kossoff: London Landscapes” is on view now at L.A. Louver and will remain on display through March 1.
Leon Kossoff, “Arnold Circus, Saturday Afternoon,” 2012, charcoal and pastel on paper, 24 x 20 in. Copyright Leon Kossoff. Courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA
This important display of Kossoff’s art features more than 90 rarely exhibited drawings and seven paintings, dating from 1952-2012.
The intimacy of drawing as an art form dovetails with Kossoff’s intense and sustained interest in the London landscape. Kossoff renders the city’s plazas, buildings, demolition zones, and construction sites with a sense of immediacy and energy.
Leon Kossoff, “School Building Willesden,” 1979, charcoal on paper, 21 x 29 3/4 in. Copyright Leon Kossoff. Courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA
The charcoal drawings are expressive evocations of place. Vigorous black line defines the forms and suggests a dark and brooding atmosphere, while subtle marks of color invigorate the scenes. Roughly drawn and hectically composed, these works convey a certain spirit in London’s streets, neighborhoods, and gathering places.
The installation of “Leon Kossoff: London Landscapes” at L.A. Louver marks the exhibition’s fourth and final destination, having received installations at Annely Juda Fine Art in London, Galerie Lelong in Paris, and Mitchell Innes & Nash in New York.
Leon Kossoff, “King’s Cross, March Afternoon,” 1998, oil on board, 56 x 78 in. Copyright Leon Kossoff. Courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA
Kossoff (b. 1926) has enjoyed a long, successful career and is widely considered among the most important living artists in the UK. His solo exhibitions in the U.S. include “Drawn to Painting: Leon Kossoff, Drawings and Prints after Nicolas Poussin,” displayed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and “After Nicholas Poussin: New Etchings by Leon Kossoff,” shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum. L.A. Louver Gallery has represented Kossoff’s work since 1979.
To learn more, visit www.lalouver.com/kossoff.