Kokoschka,Prague, Prague, Vienna, Florence, London, London
A man well travelled:
Oskar Kokoschka is one of the great Austrian painters. Of which they are most proud. An interesting figure who led an interesting life. His extraordinary face tells it all…
An Expressionist Painter. His father was from Czech and his mother from Austria. From Chemistry to Playwriting to Art. He mixed with Klimt and Schiele in Vienna and was good friends with Adolf Loos, the famous Modernist architect. He was romantically involved with Mahler’s widow, the great composer (rumour has it he loved her his whole life…but alas it did not work out) …He certainly was in the thick of it all… surrounded by daring and avant-garde individuals.
When Kokoschka showed at the 1932 Venice Biennale, Mussolini made it clear he didn’t like his work calling him a degenerate. After travelling all over Europe he went to Prague to live and where he married. From there it was Ullapool (Scotland), Cornwall and London. After a time in the USA then Berne, he eventually reconnected with Austria, living in Salzburg. Although eventually… he settled on Lake Geneva.
A well travelled, nomadic and energetic man with an adventurous and fearless soul is how I see Kokoschka. Intense. His lifestory is most honestly expressed through his paintings.
Thoughts from the mind of Oskar Kokoschka, 1937
This time I tried to combine two contrasting aspects, different from the psychological point of view and different in the structural ideas as well, similar to the use of counterpoint in musical composition. That such processes are feasible in the arts which are nonsensically called ‘imitative’ is manifest in the outstanding example of Michelangelo’s late work, the Pieta in the Florence Duomo, where he combined three different actions and different ideas of form in one vision. This unfinished work opens in truth the period of art which we call the Baroque. If such terms as Cubism or Surrealism have any meaning, then here it can be found.