Oskar Kokoschka, a terrifying prodigy

Oskar Kokoschka, a terrifying prodigy

You know the oil portraits of this great artist. Constructed in tall paste, their faces are the contradictory theaters of the conflicts between flesh and expression, between incarnation and the effect of the spirit, between the emotion of color and the pale conquest of corruption. Kokoschka’s works excavate with the fingers, the nails, the wood of the brush, the brush, with vermiculated gestures and sometimes vast planes, what the human being is. The humanity of man, his impulses, the tragedy of desires and self-destruction, his genius, his goodness at times, are the themes tirelessly explored throughout his life by this great artist, born Viennese, died English and lived in Europe painfully overcoming the great conflicts of the 20th century.

It all starts in Vienna, Austria. Vienna was one of the capitals of European thought in the late 19th and 20th centuries. After the first convulsions caused by Klimt, Mahler, Hoffman, Schnitzler, Freud and others, Vienna invented a modernity that brought together unprecedented talents in all areas of aesthetics and thought. Kokoschka, who was 21 years old in 1907, during his first public appearances, through his writing, his theater and his painting, immediately caused a scandal. Immediately regarded as “a terrifying prodigy” and proclaimed “chief savage”, this bad boy of Viennese modernity immediately asserted himself as a radical innovator who, with his younger brother Egon Schiele, was to give a brutal and profound to bourgeois morality. already shocked by the naked truth that Klimt had previously thrown at him. His life, plagued by the tragedies of the century, will make him wounded, exiled, booed as a degenerate artist by the Nazis, but he will be able to maintain a sumptuous work, which will conclude with a definitive masterpiece, his last self-portrait. portrait…

Oskar Kokoschka, Self-Portrait / Selbstbildnis, 1917, Oil on canvas, 79 x 63 cm Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal
Oskar Kokoschka, Self-Portrait / Selbstbildnis, 1917, Oil on canvas, 79 x 63 cm Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal

– photo Patrick Schwarz © Oskar Kokoschka Foundation / Adagp, Paris 2022

Reading of the texts: Sophie Daull

Broadcasting of texts and music:

  • Letter to Erwin Lang: ALBAN BERG – 4 Pieces for clarinet and piano op 5: 4. Langsam – RONALD VAN SPAENDONCK
  • Letter to Alotte Franzos: ARNOLD SCHOENBERG – 6 small pieces op 19: Klavierstück op 19 n°3 – for piano – CHRISTOPH EGGNER
  • Letter to Alma Mahler: ARNOLD SCHOENBERG – 6 small pieces op 19: Klavierstück op 19 n°6 – for piano – CHRISTOPH EGGNER
  • About Ehrenstein: ARNOLD SCHOENBERG – 6 small pieces op 19: Klavierstück op 19 n°4 – for piano – CHRISTOPH EGGNER
  • Kokoschka poem: ARNOLD SCHOENBERG – 6 small pieces op 19: Klavierstück op 19 n°2 – for piano – CHRISTOPH EGGNER
  • Letter to Miss Moos: ARNOLD SHONBERG – Suite op 25: 3. Intermezzo – ARASH ROKNI

In charge of the investigation: Maurine Roy

In association with BeauxArts magazine.

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