This display brings together a selection of paintings by Francis Bacon and Leon Kossoff that showcase the radical new realism that was forged by both artists throughout their careers.
In the decades following the Second World War, a number of artists based in London reinvented figurative painting in Britain. Although they were later called ‘The School of London’, they were never an official ‘artist group’, but rather strong individuals, who were friends with each other and who rejected the reigning avant-garde styles – abstraction, conceptualism and minimalism – in favour of representational subjects and painterly techniques. Though stylistically diverse, these artists chose to paint the people and places of the city around them with raw energy and angst, depicting the complexities of the human condition and an urban landscape scarred by wartime bombing. The most prominent artists associated with this group of artists were Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Leon Kossoff.