Leon Kossoff

Man in a Wheelchair


Not on display

Leon Kossoff 1926 – 2019
Oil paint on hardboard
Support: 2134 × 1232 mm
frame: 2290 × 1385 × 75 mm
Purchased 1963

Display caption

Kossoff developed a manner of painting with exceptionally thick paint which is deposited on the board in places almost untouched, giving a sense of three-dimensional form.
The model for this painting was the painter John Lessore, who sat for Kossoff once or twice a week for three years. For most of that time, Kossoff recalled, he concentrated on developing the subject through drawings. The discipline of drawing every day is at the heart of Kossoff’s practice.

Gallery label, July 2012

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Catalogue entry

T00564 MAN IN A WHEELCHAIR 1959–62
Not inscribed.
Oil on wood, 84×48 1/2 (215·5×123).
Purchased from the Beaux Arts Gallery (Knapping Fund) 1963.
Exh: Beaux Arts Gallery, February–March 1963 (1).

The artist wrote (16 March 1963) that the picture was painted from life: ‘John Lessore sat for me once or twice a week for three years during which time I worked mostly on drawings and finally finished the painting early in 1962.’ Some of these drawings were shown at the Beaux Arts Gallery in 1961 (9–12), and others were included in the 1963 exhibition with the generic title ‘Seated Man’ (9, 10 and 11).

A photograph of John Lessore, seated in front of the mural he has carried out at the Church Hall and Community Centre of St Peter's Church, Battersea, was reproduced in the Painter & Sculptor, V, No.4, 1963, p.20.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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