Leon Kossoff was born in 1926 to Russian-Jewish immigrant in the East End of London. He trained at the Royal College of Art and Saint Martin's School of Art. He took evening classes under David Bomberg between 1950 and 1952, which were also attended by fellow student Frank Auerbach with whom his work has natural affinities. Throughout his career, Kossoff has been drawn to London as his primary subject matter alongside figure paintings of friends and family. Cityscapes of railways, demolition sites, local monuments and Underground stations painted in dense, heavily worked impasto, emphasising light, form and structure are among his most iconic works. Kossoff was elected to the London group in 1962. He represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1995 and held major solo exhibitions at the Whitechapel in 1972, the Tate Gallery in 1996, and the National Gallery, London, in 2007.