Kokoschka, Oskar(ôs`kär kōkôsh`kä), 1886–1980, Austrian expressionist painter and writer. After teaching at the art academy in Dresden (1920–24), Kokoschka traveled extensively in Europe and N Africa. In 1937 his works were removed from German galleries by the Nazis, who considered his work degenerate. He moved to London in 1938 and after World War II lived in Switzerland and established an international summer school in Salzburg.
Kokoschka was influenced by the elegant work of KlimtKlimt, Gustav
, 1862–1918, Austrian painter. He cofounded the Vienna Secession group, an alliance against 19th-century eclecticism in art, and in 1897 became its first president. In the following decade Klimt became the foremost painter of art nouveau in Vienna.
..... Click the link for more information. , but soon developed his own distinctive expressionist style (see expressionismexpressionism,
term used to describe works of art and literature in which the representation of reality is distorted to communicate an inner vision. The expressionist transforms nature rather than imitates it.
..... Click the link for more information. ). His early portraits (c.1909–14) emphasize psychological insight and tension (e.g., the portrait of Hans Tietze and his wife, 1909; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City). The same restless, energetic draftsmanship is characteristic of his expressionist landscapes and his striking posters and lithographs. His landscapes include Jerusalem (Detroit Inst. of Arts) and View of Prague (Phillips Memorial Gall., Washington, D.C.).
See his volume of watercolors, drawings, and writings (1962); reproductions of his work, comp. by B. Bultmann (1961), L. Goldscheider (1963), E. G. Rathenau (1970), and J. Tomeš (1972); biography by E. Hoffmann (1947).
Born Mar. 1, 1886, in Pöchlarn, Lower Austria. Austrian painter and graphic artist.
Kokoschka studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna from 1904 to 1909. He worked in Vienna, Dresden (1918–24, becoming a professor at the Academy of Arts there in 1920), Prague (1934–38, professor at the Academy of Arts), London (1938–53), and Salzburg (director of the International Summer Academy for the Study of Creative Arts from 1954).
A representative of expressionism, Kokoschka sought to express a morbid and tragic sense of life in such works as The Storm (1914, Public Art Collection, Basel) and The Power of Music (1918–20, Dresden Picture Gallery). These works reflect a feeling of nervous tension and are distinguished by an abrupt and impulsive manner of execution. At the same time, many of the artist’s landscapes, which are generally representations of cities, are marked by lyricism and rich colors (Venice, 1924; Salzburg, 1950—both in the New Pinakothek, Munich). Kokoschka’s portraits, for example, those of A. Forel (1908, Kunsthalle, Manheim) and I. M. Maiskii (1942–43, Tate Gallery, London), reveal his keen insight into the characters of his sitters. In the Thermopylae Triptych (1954, at the University of Hamburg), Kokoschka’s antifascist views are reflected. Kokoschka was also a poet and playwright.