Arts & Culture
by Aspect County

Soutine I Kossoff at Hastings Contemporary - until 24 September 2023

Soutine I Kossoff pairs two major figures of 20th-century painting: one a master of the School of Paris, the other a master of the School of London. The first ever exhibition to explore the artistic relationship between British artist Leon Kossoff and Belarus-born painter Chaim Soutine.

Leon Kossof Childrens Swimming Pool Autumn Afternoon 1971 c Tate

Leon Kossof, Children’s Swimming Pool, Autumn Afternoon 1971 ©Tate

Undertaken with the full support of the Kossoff estate, it brings together 39 important loans from public and private collections in the UK, USA and beyond. This is the largest group of Soutines shown together in UK since 1982, and the first since then to show both portraits and landscapes.

The discovery of Soutine’s paintings in the early 1950’s was a significant moment for Kossoff, who was already finding his way towards the kind of direct and expressive use of paint he saw in his predecessor’s work. 

Leon Kossof Demolition of the Old House Dalston Junction Summer 1974 1974 c Tate

Leon Kossof, Demolition of the Old House, Dalston Junction, Summer 1974. 1974 ©Tate

Soutine grew up in Belarus before migrating to Paris as a young man, while Kossoff was born and raised in London, his parents having arrived there from Ukraine as children. Although their life experiences were very different, the two artists shared an Eastern European Jewish heritage which perhaps brought a particular cultural sensibility to their work. To create transcendent works from the stuff of everyday life became Kossoff’s mission, as it had been Soutine’s.

The Little Pastry Cook Le petit patissier c 1927 oil on canvas Soutine Chaim 1894 1943 Private Collection Photo c Christies Images Bridgeman Image

The Little Pastry Cook; Le petit patissier, c.1927 (oil on canvas), Soutine, Chaim (18941943) Private Collection Photo © Christie’s Images Bridgeman Image

The main focus of Soutine | Kossoff is on the areas of interest shared by both artists: landscape and portraiture. The exhibition features seminal landscapes painted by Soutine in southern France in the early 1920s, with highlights including Paysage aux cyprès (c.1922), and Cagnes Landscape with Tree, (c.1925 – 26). From Kossoff come major paintings of railway junctions, building sites and other scenes of unexpected beauty found in north and north-west London, among them Willesden Junction, Summer, No.2, (1966) and Demolition of the Old House, Dalston Junction, Summer (1974).

Chaim Soutine Maternite or Pieta 1942 Property of a European Collector Photo by Todd White Art Photography

Chaim Soutine, Maternité (or Pieta), 1942. Property of a European Collector. Photo by Todd-White Art Photography.

Le valet de chambre c 1927 oil on canvas Soutine Chaim 1894 1943 THE LEWIS COLLECTION

Le valet de chambre, c. 1927 (oil on canvas), Soutine, Chaim (18941943). THE LEWIS COLLECTION

Visitors will have a rare opportunity to view Kossoff’s stunning Nude on a Red Bed, alongside works such as his powerful Seated Woman (1957). A major group of Soutine portraits includes Le Petit Pâtissier (c.1927), Young Woman in a White Blouse (c.1923) and Le Valet de Chambre (c.1927).

For more information on the exhibition and the accompanying public programme of events visit