New Haven

“The School of London and Their Friends”

Yale Center for British Art

RB. Kitaj coined the phrase “School of London” in 1976, and although no one really knows what it means, the label stuck, especially after a touring exhibition in the late ’80s and an unrelated book both used it as a title. Broadly speaking, the School of London seems to include almost any contemporary British figurative painter, though the core members are usually said to be Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff, and Kitaj. All but Kitaj are artists who paint from and against perceptible reality rather than the imagination; all but Kitaj and Andrews are figurative painters who paint from and against perceptible reality and have some amity with Expressionism. On the other hand, and perhaps not coincidentally, all but Andrews and Bacon are Jewish painters in London. Just as the School of Paris was, essentially, non-French painters in France the School of

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