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Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980)



Born March 1 in Pöchlarn (Donau), Austria


Grows up in Vienna, attends the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts)


Publishes his expressionist drama "Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen" (Murderers, the Hope of Women)


Member of the "Sturm" (Storm) circle in Berlin


Italian journey


Professor at the Kunstakademie (Art Academy) in Dresden


First colorful cityscapes, such as "Jerusalem"


Emigration to England. In 1947 Kokoschka becomes a British subject.


Dies on February 22 in Villeneuve, Switzerland on Lake Geneva, where he had lived since 1954

Short Bio:

As a poet, Oskar Kokoschka wrote these words:

  Erzwungen, erscheint ein Gesicht,
  Eine Welt dem Bewußtsein.
  Und wieder löst vom Bilde,
  Wo es haftet, sich das Erschaffne.
  Als Wasser, Luft und Erde formt sich der Raum.
  Feuer brennt ihn ewig und
  Verbrannte ihn.

From Spruch: Schriften 1907-1955 (Munich: Langen, Müller 1956)

But he is actually not that well known as a poet or author. Kokoschka is much more famous as a representative of artistic Expressionism. However, he also wrote expressionist dramas. Later, following his Italian journey (1913), his city landscapes and portraits looked more like colorful Impressionism. Of course, the Nazis defamed his work as “degenerate art.” During his long life Kokoschka lived in Dresden, Vienna, Prague, London (he became a British subject in 1947) and after 1953 on the shores of Lake Geneva. He also traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa, the Near East and even in America, all of which also influenced his work very much. Oskar Kokoschka was born in Pöchlarn, Austria in 1886. In the First World War he was seriously wounded, but he lived until 1980, when he died in Switzerland.

Also see: Deutsche Biografie (link upper right)

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