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Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) was born in Pöchlarn, Austria, he studied at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, receiving a more progressive training under Vienna Sezession teachers than that given at the Academy of Fine Arts. His early drawings, paintings and especially his portraits were characterised by expressionist vigour and intensity, and attracted both praise and deep hostility. He fought and was wounded in WWI, and after the war taught at the Dresden Academy 1919-24, before undertaking wide travels in Europe, painting cities and landscapes. Branded as a degenerate artist by the Nazis, he emigrated first to Prague in 1934, and then to Britain in 1938, where he stayed until 1947, when he settled in Switzerland. In 1953 he founded his own Summer School, the Schule des Sehens.

During his lifetime he produced over 500 graphics, his earliest being coloured postcards and lithographic posters for the Wiener Werkstätte. He produced a number of lithographic self-portraits before and after WWI, and then more frequently around the 1960s, as well as portraits of friends and other sitters. Having written as a young man possibly the first Expressionist drama, ‘Murder, Hope of Women’, he continued to write essays, poems and dramatic scenes throughout his life, and to produce lithographs on mythological and biblical subjects. In the 1960s he produced impressive suites of lithographs inspired by his travels in Greece, Apulia and Marrakesh, as well as series illustrating the Odyssee, the story of Saul and David, and Greek dramas, ‘The Frogs’, ‘Penthesilea’, and ‘The Women of Troy’.

He exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1922 and 1948, and retrospectives were mounted at the Galerie Arnold, Dresden (1925); Kunsthalle, Mannheim (1930); Haus der Kunst, Munich (1950, and 1958 together with the Künstlerhaus, Vienna); Tate Gallery, London (1962 and 1986); Österreichische Galerie, Vienna (1971); Palazzo Venezia, Rome (1981); Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna (1982). In later life he was awarded several prizes: the Stefan Lochner Preis (1950), the Alfred Lichtwark Preis (1952); and the International Erasmus Prize (1960), as well as Honorary Doctorates from Oxford (1960) and Salzburg (1976) Universities. In 1947 Edith Hoffmann published her biography of the artist, and in 1974 the English version of his own autobiography was published.

 

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Enquiries

Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) was born in Pöchlarn, Austria, he studied at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, receiving a more progressive training under Vienna Sezession teachers than that given at the Academy of Fine Arts. His early drawings, paintings and especially his portraits were characterised by expressionist vigour and intensity, and attracted both praise and deep hostility. He fought and was wounded in WWI, and after the war taught at the Dresden Academy 1919-24, before undertaking wide travels in Europe, painting cities and landscapes. Branded as a degenerate artist by the Nazis, he emigrated first to Prague in 1934, and then to Britain in 1938, where he stayed until 1947, when he settled in Switzerland. In 1953 he founded his own Summer School, the Schule des Sehens.

During his lifetime he produced over 500 graphics, his earliest being coloured postcards and lithographic posters for the Wiener Werkstätte. He produced a number of lithographic self-portraits before and after WWI, and then more frequently around the 1960s, as well as portraits of friends and other sitters. Having written as a young man possibly the first Expressionist drama, ‘Murder, Hope of Women’, he continued to write essays, poems and dramatic scenes throughout his life, and to produce lithographs on mythological and biblical subjects. In the 1960s he produced impressive suites of lithographs inspired by his travels in Greece, Apulia and Marrakesh, as well as series illustrating the Odyssee, the story of Saul and David, and Greek dramas, ‘The Frogs’, ‘Penthesilea’, and ‘The Women of Troy’.

He exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1922 and 1948, and retrospectives were mounted at the Galerie Arnold, Dresden (1925); Kunsthalle, Mannheim (1930); Haus der Kunst, Munich (1950, and 1958 together with the Künstlerhaus, Vienna); Tate Gallery, London (1962 and 1986); Österreichische Galerie, Vienna (1971); Palazzo Venezia, Rome (1981); Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna (1982). In later life he was awarded several prizes: the Stefan Lochner Preis (1950), the Alfred Lichtwark Preis (1952); and the International Erasmus Prize (1960), as well as Honorary Doctorates from Oxford (1960) and Salzburg (1976) Universities. In 1947 Edith Hoffmann published her biography of the artist, and in 1974 the English version of his own autobiography was published.

 

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