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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 25 | volume V | March-April, 2002



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 25March-April, 2002
Gallery Reviews

Oskar Kokoschka, short biography

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Jens Peter

Oskar Kokoschka (1886 – 1980)

Oskar Kokoschka was born at Pöchlarn an der Donau, Lower Austria, on 1 March 1886. His mother came from a family of foresters in Lower Austria. His father came from a celebrated line of goldsmiths in Prague, but when Oskar was born his father worked as a commercial traveler for a jewelry firm. Oskar was the second of four children.

A few months after he was born the family moved to Vienna, where he spend the early part of his life. In 1904 OK was awarded a state scholarship to attend the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of the Arts and Crafts). His intention was to become a art teacher. In 1908 he had his first exhibition or more true, he got the chance to show some of his work to the public, because The Klimt group came on visit to Vienna.

In 1909, he had his first exhibition at the “Internationale Kunstschau” and the same year he left the school. In 1910 he went to Berlin for the first time to work with Walden. In 1912 his name became know in the art world around Europe, and he was normally on every important exhibition on the continent.

In 1913 he married Alma Mahler who built a house for him where he could work and where they lived for a year. After Alma had an abortion in 1914 their life together ended their relationship.

On 1 August 1914, the First World War breaks out. Oscar enrolled in one of the most prestigious regiments in the Austro-Hungarian army, the 15th Imperial-Royal Dragoons. He was send to the Eastern Front, where he got wounded and was after that discharged from the army as unfit for active service.

In 1918 Gustav Klimt dies. Oscar wrote to his mother: “I cried for poor Klimt, the only Viennese artist who had any talent and character. Now I am his successor, as I once asked of him at the “Kunstschau”, and I do not yet feel ready to take charge of that flock of lost sheep.”






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