Oskar Kokoschka (March 01, 1886 - February 22, 1980)
Born: 1st March, 1886
Died: 22nd February, 1980
Nationality: Austrian
Profession/Occupation: Artist
Region: Austria, Switzerland
Notable works: "The Tempest", "Morder, Hoffnung der Frauen", "Dents du Midi", "Dresden Manifesto", "Orpheus und Eurydike", "Herodotus"

Oskar Kokoschka Facts

Biography

Oskar Kokoschka, (born March 1, 1886, Pöchlarn, Austria—died February 22, 1980, Villeneuve, Switzerland), Austrian painter and writer who was one of the leading exponents of Expressionism. In his early portraits, gesture intensifies the psychological penetration of character; especially powerful among his later works are allegories of the artist’s emphatic humanism. His dramas, poems, and prose are significant for their psychological insight and stylistic daring.

Early life and works

When Kokoschka was three years old, his father went bankrupt in a financial crash. The family was forced to move to Vienna, where his father worked as a traveling salesman and his mother cared for the children on limited means. Tragedy entered the artist’s life early, when his eldest brother died in 1891. Kokoschka attended elementary and high school in Vienna and received his first artistic impressions from the stained-glass windows and Baroque frescoes of the Church of the Piarist Order, where he sang in the choir.

At age 18 Kokoschka won a scholarship to the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna. Soon he became an assistant teacher there, giving lessons at night and studying during the day. By 1907 he had also become a member of the Vienna Crafts Studio, which supplied him with commissions until 1909. At the School of Arts and Crafts he learned drawing, lithography, bookbinding, and other crafts. Kokoschka was profoundly dissatisfied with the school, however, because it was devoted entirely to the decorative arts and completely omitted from its curriculum the study of the human figure. The Vienna Crafts Studio, too, supported work only in the field of the decorative arts.

From the beginning Kokoschka’s primary artistic interest was the human figure; this interest was perhaps rooted in his deep concern for humanity, which transcended even his concern for art. He tried to find practical means to pursue this interest. In his night classes he hired the thin, muscular children of acrobats as models, teaching his pupils to make quick sketches. He used the human figure as a decorative motif in the postcards, bookbindings, and bookplates he designed for Vienna Crafts Studio commissions. Still, his real desire was to create monumental paintings. Kokoschka taught himself to paint in oils and executed some canvases, but economic necessity forced him to spend most of his time on decorative work, and the general artistic milieu around him continued to be unsupportive of his creative aspirations.

In 1908 he met the prominent Viennese architect Adolf Loos, who, having been impressed by one of Kokoschka’s early paintings, took an active interest in the young artist. Like Kokoschka, Loos rejected the prevailing decorative ideal, and he enthusiastically launched Kokoschka’s artistic career by introducing him to sympathetic artists, securing him commissions for paintings, and providing him with much-needed spiritual inspiration and support.

During this early period Kokoschka painted mostly landscapes, developing a technique of vibrant, fluid lines and expressive colours. At first glance, Kokoschka’s landscapes seem to follow the principles of the Impressionist school because of their bright colours, ephemeral delineation of shapes, and preoccupation with light. His vision, however, was different from that of the Impressionists, who sought to represent only what strikes the eye. Kokoschka sought to express through his colours the emotional aspects of a scene. This aim is exemplified in one of his earliest paintings, Dents du Midi (1909), a snowscape rendered in warm colours; an Impressionist might have used cool colours to evoke the actual light emanating from the snow.

At about this time Kokoschka began his career as a writer, composing several plays that heralded the new Expressionist theatre and expressed his compassionately humanist philosophy. The most important of them was Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen (1907; “Murderer, Hope of Women”), a play that expressed Kokoschka’s sensitivity to the moral crises of modern life and that condemned the political injustices of contemporary European society. He said in 1933 that in this play he

contrasted the callousness of our male society with my basic conception of man as mortal and woman as immortal; in the modern world it is only the murderer who wishes to reverse this state of affairs.

About 1908, shortly before his return to Vienna, Kokoschka began to paint portraits that show an extremely sensitive preoccupation with the character of the subjects, as well as an increasing concern with expressing this character through colour. In early examples of these portraits, he made use of delicate, agitated lines to describe figures, which he painted in relatively naturalistic colours. Kokoschka exaggerated certain features and gestures of the sitters to express their psychological states. Among these portraits, which secured Kokoschka’s early reputation, are those of Hans Tietze and Erica Tietze-Conrat (1909), Peter Altenberg (1909), and Auguste Forel (1910).

Maturity

After a year in Berlin, where his first solo show was held, Kokoschka returned to Vienna in 1911 and resumed his teaching post at the School of Arts and Crafts. He exhibited paintings and drawings at Der Sturm gallery, where they hung alongside works of the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky, the Swiss artist Paul Klee, and the German artist Franz Marc. Soon public reaction to Kokoschka’s plays caused such a scandal that he was dismissed from his teaching position.

In 1911 Kokoschka met Alma Mahler, seven years his senior and the widow of the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler. He fell in love with her, and for three years they pursued a tempestuous affair that Kokoschka much later described as “the most unquiet time of my life.” Their relationship ended with the outbreak of World War I and his enlistment in the Austrian army.

Starting about 1912, Kokoschka painted portraits with brushstrokes that were increasingly broad and colourful, and he used heavier outlines that were broken and that no longer solidly enclosed forms. Among the works painted in this manner are Double Portrait (Oskar Kokoschka and Alma Mahler) (1912) and Self-Portrait, Pointing to the Breast (1913). Kokoschka’s most important painting of this period, The Tempest (1914), shows the artist and Alma Mahler resting together in a huge cockleshell in the midst of a raging sea. In this blue-and-gray composition, all the forms are described by large, loose strokes of colour, and the direction of the strokes seems to cause the entire composition to swirl and spin. In all these paintings, as with the landscapes, the emotional involvement of the artist with the subject is essential, and it continued to be the basis of Kokoschka’s art throughout his life. In 1962 he said,

Painting…isn’t based on three dimensions, but on four. The fourth dimension is a projection of myself.…The other three dimensions are based on the vision of both eyes…the fourth dimension is based on the essential nature of vision, which is creative.

Kokoschka saw active duty in World War I for only a short time. In 1915 he was severely wounded and was taken to a military hospital in Vienna, then to one in Dresden, Germany. While recovering in Dresden he wrote, produced, designed, and staged three plays. In Orpheus und Eurydike (1918) he expressed the terror he had experienced after being wounded. This play was adapted as an opera in 1926 by the German composer Ernst Krenek. The war and the takeover of the Russian Revolution by the Bolshevik regime disillusioned Kokoschka, as it did many intellectuals who had identified revolution with humanitarianism. He began to see revolution as a purely destructive force, and in 1920 he wrote the “Dresden Manifesto,” which denounced all militancy in politics for its lack of human concern. Political and humanitarian themes disappeared for several years from his writing and art.

During the 1920s Kokoschka taught, primarily as a professor of fine arts at the Dresden Academy (1919–23), and he traveled in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, where he painted a series of landscapes that mark the second peak of his career. These panoramic views of cities or mountains, mostly seen from a high vantage point, are lyrical in mood and communicate effects of light and atmosphere through Kokoschka’s characteristically nervous brushstrokes and agitated compositions. Among these works are London: Large Thames View (1926), Jerusalem (1929–30), and Prague: Charles Bridge (with Boat) (1934).

In 1931 Kokoschka returned again to Vienna, where he completed his first political commission since the war, a joyful painting of children playing at an orphanage established by the socialist city council. This painting was meant as a protest against the reactionary policies of the current Austrian chancellor. In 1934 Kokoschka moved to Prague, where he met Olda Palkovska, his future wife. In Prague he was commissioned to do a portrait of the president of the Czech Republic, the philosopher Tomáš Masaryk. During the sittings he discussed with the aged statesman the philosophy of the 17th-century Moravian theologian John Amos Comenius, whose humanitarian views Kokoschka had admired from his youth. Kokoschka placed Comenius in the background of Masaryk’s portrait, creating an allegory of the humanistic spirit from past to present. Comenius also became the subject of another play (Comenius, which Kokoschka began writing in 1935).

World War II and after

In 1937 the Nazis removed all of Kokoschka’s works from German museums and collections, denouncing them as “degenerate art.” This act outraged Kokoschka less for his own sake than because it boded ill for the future of culture and humanity. The fact that a great Kokoschka exhibition was held in Vienna that year did not allay his fears. After the Munich agreement between the English prime minister Neville Chamberlain and Hitler in 1938, Kokoschka fled to London with Olda Palkovska.

Kokoschka’s financial situation in London was so desperate that he was forced to paint mainly in watercolour, a less-expensive medium than oil. He completed a number of large canvases on antiwar themes, however—including The Red Egg (1940–41), Anschluss—Alice in Wonderland (1942), Loreley (1942), Marianne-Maquis (1943), and What We Are Fighting For (1943). These works express his distress at the sufferings of humanity, yet are free from narrow ideological considerations; the series is an indictment of all the powers, not just the fascist ones, that had caused suffering in World War II. In 1942 Kokoschka also painted a portrait of the Russian ambassador to London, Ivan Maysky, and donated the fee for the painting to the Red Cross for the care of German and Russian soldiers wounded in the Battle of Stalingrad. He became a British subject in 1947.

After the war, beginning with a large exhibition in Vienna in 1947, Kokoschka was honoured with a series of exhibitions of his work in Zürich, London, Venice, and elsewhere throughout Europe and in the United States, and he became financially secure for the first time. He continued to paint portraits and landscapes; among Kokoschka’s late landscapes that retain the energy of his earlier works are View of Hamburg Harbour (1951), Delphi (1956), Vienna: State Opera (1956), and Lübeck: Jakobikirche (1958). In 1950 he created his first major mythological compositions, the three paintings of the Prometheus Saga.

In 1953 Kokoschka moved to Switzerland and established an annual seminar called Schule des Sehens (“School of Seeing”) at the International Summer Academy for Visual Arts in Salzburg, Austria. He also completed a second mythological trilogy, Thermopylae (1954). In the 1950s Kokoschka designed tapestries and theatrical scenery and worked increasingly in lithography. He also continued his political art; he designed two poignant posters protesting the effects of the Spanish Civil War and World War II on the children of Europe (1937, 1945), and a poster for Hungarian relief showing a stricken mother and a dead child (1956).

Kokoschka’s last paintings are perhaps best characterized by Herodotus (1960–63), a luminously painted picture of the Greek historian as he is inspired by visions of historical figures that appear above his head; it is Kokoschka’s tribute to the importance of memory. His late style is calmer and brighter than that of his early works, but some critics claim that the late paintings lack the agitation and surface intensity of his early masterpieces. Kokoschka’s My Life (1964) is an excellent autobiography.

Oskar Kokoschka essays

Explore Related Essays
Analysis of gorgias and plato
Plato was one of the most crucial Greek philosophers in our time. He founded the Academy in Athens, an establishment specialized in research and instructions in viewpoint and the sciences; the first establishment of higher learning under western culture. His works on beliefs, politics and mathematics were very important and laid the foundations for Euclid's organized method of mathematics. Gorgias is a dialogue in which Plato models the rhetorician Gorgias towards the..
Concept of absenteeism
Concept of Absenteeism It refers to workers absence using their company regular activity when he is normally plan to work. Corresponding to Webster's dictionary Absenteeism is the practice or habit of being an absentee and an absentee is person who habitually stays from work. ' According to Labour Bureau of Shimla Absenteeism is the full total man shifts lost because of lack as percentage of total number of man shifts slated to work. ' Absenteeism identifies the failing..
Consumption function questions and answers
Keywords: utilization function critique Consumption function can be an epoch making contribution to the various tools of economic examination analogous to but even more important than Marshall's breakthrough of demand function. Discuss ANS NO:-1 Consumption function can be explained as the partnership between use and income. Consumption = f (income) or C = f(y) Consumption expenditure boosts with increase in income. But increase ingestion is significantly..
Define a hero essay
All people have someone who inspires them in their lives or they want to be like this person, such as a famous actor, national hero, and so on. It’s no wonder students are often asked to write their define a hero essay . If you are assigned with the same academic paper, this means your professor wants to test your thinking, analyzing, creative writing, and other abilities. The good news is that there are many sources you can use to succeed, including our professional help when writing..
Marketing segmentation concentrate on and positioning marketing essay
Marketing is the activity, set of organizations, and techniques for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings which have value for customers, clients, companions, and society at large. Marketing starts with the real human needs and wants. Needs are feeling of deprivation of some satisfaction. People need food, air, normal water, clothing and shelter to make it through. Wants are needs for satisfiers of need. MARKETING SEGMENTATION, Goal AND..
Okonkwo a tragic hero english literature essay
Okonkwo is the antithesis to his daddy, for his dad Unoka is a bum, who was simply in debt to everybody else in the clan, more or less. In the very beginning of the book Chinua Achebe clearly says what Unoka is similar to, "In his day he was sluggish and improvident and was quite not capable of considering tomorrow. " (C. Achebe, Things Fall Apart, Web page 8). Okonkwo on the other side is well known for his activities as a wrestler and a warrior. At a party a guy called him the best warrior..
Organisational framework and culture of john lewis
This survey insists on the organisational structure and culture of an exclusive sector company known as John Lewis collaboration and a general population sector guy's and St Thomas medical center. Organizational structure entails activities such as activity provisioning, synchronization and course, which are focussed towards the attainment of organizational seeks. This article is also stressing on the factors which influence individual behaviour at the job. The analysis..
Romeo and juliet essay introduction
Reading Shakespeare's plays is tough, and especially tough is writing a good Romeo and Juliet essay introduction. The language of Shakespeare's plays is really beautiful, but it is hard to comprehend at the same time. This is not only about your writing and reading skills, but it is also about experience, which is essential when you face such specified piece of literature. The truth is, not even everybody understands all the words that Shakespeare used in his writings, if not..
The relevance of relativism in medical practice idea essay
It is relative. In a world of increasing cultural variety, it can appear that everything is definitely relative. But should we concede that there surely is such thing as right or wrong, no objective truth? With this paper, I will study the relevance of relativism in medical practice especially in the good care of new immigrants. Through the use of cultural relativism and its own implication on ethnic competent health care as the focal point, I will get the most crucial insights..
The success of media advertising marketing essay
For many years media advertising was viewed as the strongest form of creating understanding to a companys brand. However, the 21st century brings with it the decline of traditional media. As humans are being exposed to increasingly more advertising on a huge scale, it is only inevitable that the effectiveness of the mass communication will greatly diminish. Magazines and newspapers are losing viewers, radio is shedding listeners, and most importantly tv set is losing visitors...
How hitler started universe war two essay
Adolf Hitler was born to Alois and Klara Hitler on 04 20th, 1889 in Braunau, Austria. Hitler had proven his perceptive potential, command quality, and how popular this individual could become with his learners in major school. Supplementary school was much more difficult for Adolf and he began to lose involvement in participating in school. Adolf was then told to repeat the year yet decided to drop out of school instead at the age of 15. At the age of 18, Adolf moved to Vienna with..
Jeffrey cox and amanda watson drug possession case essay
"On October twenty-one, 2012 Sgt William Retainer and Officer Samantha Brownish stopped an auto in the 2150 block of East Streets for failure to produce the right of way into a pedestrian. In the course of the car quit it was identified the driver was Jeffery Cox. According to the DMV registration details, Mr. Cox owned the vehicle. Sitting in the automobile front passenger seat was Amanda Watson. When the officials checked upon any outstanding warrants for the occupants..
Why casey is sense depressed and overwhelmed depending on the stressful life event
Presenting IssueCasey is usually feeling despondent and overwhelmed based on the stressful lifestyle events the girl with experiencing, such as repeatedly getting yourself into abusive relationships and playing the function of a parents in her daughter's existence Christine.Difficulty HistoryCasey, a client that came to the Women's Centre to get for support based on the issues and issues she has staying going through and currently going through. Casey was..
Business structures described essay
SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP:Sole proprietorship is an independent business held by one individual. Sole proprietorship businesses are relatively small and in many instances the money of one person are sufficient to cover functional expenditure.Attributes of Single Proprietorship1 ) Simplicity Starting a sole proprietorship is quiet simple. The sole legal thank you's are trying to get the required express or local license or perhaps permit. In case the sole proprietor..
Organic disasters can easily strike anywhere essay
Event which have Shaped MyselfNatural disasters can strike anywhere. They might be anything from storms to diseases and all of them could affect others. Inside the places where these types of disasters reach, the patients can get injure or shed everything they have. The people afflicted with disasters require someone to help them, and that is exactly where I can be found in. Throughout my life, I have seen many things which may have inspired me to go support those in need. These..
The misunderstanding of humans marriage with character essay
"11 And The almighty said, area earth bring forth grass, the plant yielding seed, and the fruit tree containing fruit after his kind, whose seeds is in by itself, upon the entire world: and it absolutely was so. " (The Holy bible, Genesis. 1-11) God made earth using what it has from mineral deposits and rubble to vegetation and animals. He also made the type in a unique way. There after, God created humans and gave them dominion within the other species and masterpieces...
Essay on bloodstream: questions and answers
1 . Precisely what is the function of the blood? What certain materials would it transport? Why are these chemicals important? End up being specific – explain why these chemicals contribute to homeostasis.Blood is composed of plasma (clear extracellular fluid) and mobile components, which in turn consist of blood, white blood vessels cells, and platelets. Important body liquids, nutrients, fumes, chemicals, and wastes are transported over the body by the blood. The functions..
Trends affecting the selling industry dissertation
Retail industry DevelopmentsA craze simply reflects what seems to be going around at any time. A trend can be in any area and doesn't only reflect trend, pop traditions and entertainment. There can be a tendency in the stock exchange to be bullish or bearish, depending on economical indicators, or a political tendency reflecting on a nation's current mood (Vocabulary. com, 2016). Trends impacting the price tag industry contain social, environmental and technical..
The discovery of amerigo vespucci essay
The Breakthrough discovery of Amerigo VespucciWho had been Amerigo Vespucci? This is something I asked personally as I was researching the person credited with the discovery with the new world. Very much information have been written about Christopher Columbus and extremely little regarding Amerigo Vespucci. To understand who Amerigo Vespucci was is always to look at his life and times during that time period period. This paper is usually an attempt to check out his history..
The context of criminology right and left realism article
In the context of criminology Left and Right Realism first came into prominence in accordance with the Reagan and Thatcher governments that come about in America and Britain in the 1970s. Both organizations dominated governmental policies for a significant period and represented a significant break with much prior post-war politics and general public policy, favouring free industry economics and mounting a critique on social well being programmes that had developed in..
Subscribe to our updates
79 345 subscribers already with us

Related authors

Ovid
Ovid
Genres: Drama, Elegy, Epic
Types of literature: Poems, Criticism
Ovid, Latin in full Publius Ovidius Naso, (born March 20, 43 bce, Sulmo, Roman Empire [now Sulmona,..
Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda, original name Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, (born July 12, 1904, Parral, Chile—died..
Paul Allen
Paul Allen
Paul Allen, in full Paul Gardner Allen, (born January 21, 1953, Seattle, Washington, U.S.—died..
Paul Auster
Paul Auster
Paul Auster, in full Paul Benjamin Auster, (born February 3, 1947, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.), American..
Paul Claudel
Paul Claudel
Genres: Drama
Types of literature: Poems, Play
Paul Claudel, in full Paul-Louis-Charles-Marie Claudel, (born Aug. 6, 1868, Villeneuve-sur-Fère,..
Paul Verlaine
Paul Verlaine
Genres: Fiction
Types of literature: Poems
Paul Verlaine, (born March 30, 1844, Metz, France—died January 8, 1896, Paris), French lyric poet..
Paul de Man
Paul de Man
Paul de Man, (born December 6, 1919, Antwerp, Belgium—died December 21, 1983, New Haven, Connecticut,..
Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho, (born August 24, 1947, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Brazilian novelist known for employing..
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Types of literature: Poems, Play
Percy Bysshe Shelley, (born Aug. 4, 1792, Field Place, near Horsham, Sussex, Eng.—died July..
Peter Abelard
Peter Abelard
Peter Abelard, French Pierre Abélard, orAbailard, Latin Petrus Abaelardus, orAbeilardus, (born..
Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
Genres: Tragedy, Comedy
Types of literature: Poems, Essay, Play
Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali Rabīndranāth Ṭhākur, (born May 7, 1861, Calcutta [now Kolkata],..
Rainer Maria Rilke
Rainer Maria Rilke
Genres: Fiction
Types of literature: Poems, Prose
Rainer Maria Rilke, original name René Maria Rilke, (born Dec. 4, 1875, Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary..
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Types of literature: Poems, Essay
Ralph Waldo Emerson, (born May 25, 1803, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.—died April 27, 1882, Concord,..
Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury, in full Ray Douglas Bradbury, (born August 22, 1920, Waukegan, Illinois, U.S.—died..
Richard Brautigan
Richard Brautigan
Richard Brautigan, in full Richard Gary Brautigan, (born Jan. 30, 1935, Tacoma, Wash., U.S.—found..
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Richard Brinsley Sheridan, in full Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan, (baptized November 4, 1751,..
Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins, in full Clinton Richard Dawkins, (born March 26, 1941, Nairobi, Kenya), British..
Rick Mercer
Rick Mercer
Rick Mercer, byname of Richard Vincent Mercer, (born October 17, 1969, St. John’s, Newfoundland..
Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo, in full Victor-Marie Hugo, (born February 26, 1802, Besançon, France—died May 22,..
Vincente Minnelli
Vincente Minnelli
Vincente Minnelli, original name Lester Anthony Minnelli, (born February 28, 1903, Chicago, Illinois,..