Kokoschka – The Self in Focus

Leopold Museum
Vienna
Until 27 January 2014

Oskar Kokoschka on the balcony of his atelier in Prague, with the Charles Bridge in the background, © Olda Palkovska, © Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien, Oskar Kokoschka Zentrum

Oskar Kokoschka is doubtless one of the most important protagonists of modernism. His oeuvre as a painter and graphic artist, as well as dramatist, essayist and stage designer, is enormous and has an established place in the histories of both art and literature. Up to this point, there has existed very little awareness of the fact that Kokoschka’s life and works were also documented by a multitude of photographs. Around 5,000 photos have been preserved in the artist’s estate alone, which is now held by the University of Applied Arts Vienna. These photos will now be published for the first time, in a selection featuring scholarly commentary. Photos from Kokoschka’s occupational and private circles communicate a rich and intense artistic life, while at the same time they represent a piece of 20th‑century history both in terms of cultural developments and in general.