Graphic arts

Kokoschka Oskar

Pöchlarn/Donau *1886 - †1980 Villeneuve near Montreux

Oskar Kokoschka was born 1886 in Pöchlarn on Danube. He studied painting at the School for Applied Arts of the Austrian Museum for Art and Industry in Vienna/„k. k. Kunstgewerbeschule des k. k. Österreichischen Museums für Kunst und Industrie“ (today: University of Applied Arts Vienna). 1907 he became a member of the „Wiener Werkstätte“, but left it already in 1909 due to the influence of his friend and mentor Adolf Loos.

Kokoschka was introduced to Loos Herwarth Walden, the publisher of the magazine “Der Sturm” and later founder of the gallery with the same name. A fertile cooperation between Kokoschka and Walden began. Walden’s magazine as well as his gallery were of great importance for the spreading of expressionism, cubism and futurism. From 1912 on Kokoschka also became known abroad from Austria.

1912 Kokoschka met young Alma Mahler. Their acquaintance developed into a rampant “amour fou”. Kokoschka’s most famous painting, “Die Windsbraut” is a testimonial of this passionate time. During World War I Kokoschka went voluntarily into war and was seriously injured by a bayonet.

1917 to 1923 Kokoschka lived in Dresden. He held a professorship at the Academy in Dresden but due to his many travels he rarely met his obligations. 1937 the exhibition “Entartete Kunst” was opened in Munich (“Haus der Kunst”), where eight works by Oskar Kokoschka were denunciated in public. 1938 Kokoschka fled from the Nazis to London. 1947 he acquired British citizenship. After the World War II he received many honours and took part in many important exhibitions. In July 1953 he was in charge of the “Schule des Sehens” at the “Internationale Sommerakademie in Salzburg”. Oskar Kokoschka died 1980 in Villeneuve at Lake Geneva.