Leon Kossoff Self-Portrait. Verso: Untitled (Two Figures) 1967

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Artwork details

Artist
Leon Kossoff born 1926
Title
Self-Portrait. Verso: Untitled (Two Figures)
Date 1967
Medium Charcoal on paper. Verso: charcoal on paper
Dimensions Support: 763 x 556 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Jenny Stein 1986
Reference
T04855
Not on display

Display caption

Throughout his career Kossoff has made portrait drawings. Usually these are of family, friends or, as in this case, himself. Kossoff was a student of David Bomberg (whose work is also on show here). Bomberg maintained that there could be no good painting without drawing. In common with Bomberg, drawing is a crucial activity for Kossoff and he draws constantly from the landscape and the figure. Here, the heavily worked surface has been repeatedly erased and re-drawn. This records the artist's many previous attempts to give form to a final definitive image, which is usually executed in one session. The portrait is thus spontaneous, but also founded on accumulated experience of the subject.

September 2004

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