From the Blitz to the Swinging Sixties, London was home to a major art scene. Several key players – Auerbach, Bacon, Freud – were figurative painters rebelling against the prevailing Abstract orthodoxy. Others – Bridget Riley, John Hoyland – found their own distinctive forms of abstraction. Gayford’s study profiles the artists and explores their influences and connections. Drawing on first-hand interviews and illustrated with 114 paintings and photographs, it recreates the Soho bohemia these painters inhabited, with its friendships, feuds, and legendary drinking sessions.