Leon Kossoff Self-Portrait c.1952

Artwork details

Leon Kossoff born 1926
Date c.1952
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 560 x 405 mm
frame: 762 x 606 x 50 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1996
Not on display

Display caption

Kossoff attended Bomberg’s evening classes from 1950–2. He found them a revelation after the formality of St Martin’s School of Art. ‘Although I had painted most of my life’ he said, ‘it was through my contact with Bomberg that I felt I might actually function as a painter. Coming to Bomberg’s class was like coming home’.

Here, Kossoff’s definition of form through thick plains and strokes of colour is characteristic of Borough Group artists. The way the face fills the frame adds a psychological intensity while giving no clues to the sitter’s identity, social status or profession.

September 2004