OSKAR KOKOSCHKA

BIOGRAPHY

Pöchlarn 1886 - Montreux 1980

Considered as one of the main figures of Expressionism, Kokoschka studied at Wien's school of applied arts where he learned drawing and lithography. His first artworks show an undeniable interest that accompanied him for the rest of his life: the human figure. In 1908, he befriended the Viennese architect Adolf Loos who introduced him to many artists and personalities, which assured him inspiration and work. At this time, Kokoschka mainly represented landscapes using a palette of bright colors, which enabled him to express an emotional intensity. Later on, the artist realized a series of portrait. Through his angular lines and bright colors Kokoschka tried to convey the human psyche. His first solo exhibition was held in Berlin in 1910. Injured during war, he toured Europe during the 1920-30's, before settling in Wien in 1930. With the rise of Nazism, Kokoschka moved to Prague where he pursued realizing portraits. His artworks considered as degenerated by the Nazis were taken off or destructed for some. The year 1938 was marked by his move to England and his first solo exhibition at the Buccholz Gallery in New York. In 1953, he settled in Switzerland where he became professor and lived his last years.
During his lifetime he had the chance to assist to one of his retrospective held at the Tate in 1962. Nowadays, his artworks are displayed in the most renown international museum and are still the topic of retrospective as illustrated by the ones held in 2018 at Zurich Fine Arts Museum or in 2019 in Wien.

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