Oskar Kokoschka: Eine Retrospektive
The Kunsthaus Zürich presents Oskar Kokoschka – Expressionist, migrant and pacifist – in the first retrospective of his work in Switzerland for 30 years.
The highlights among the more than 200 exhibits include the monumental ‘Prometheus Triptych’ and the ‘Mural for Alma Mahler’, which have never before been seen in Switzerland.
Oskar Kokoschka (1886–1980) is, along with Francis Picabia and Pablo Picasso, one of a generation of artists who retained their allegiance to figurative painting after the Second World War, even as abstract art was consolidating its predominance. It is also thanks to them that non-representational painting and figurative art can now be practised side by side without partisan feuding. Artists of the present day acknowledge their debt to Kokoschka in particular. For Nancy Spero, Herbert Brandl and Denis Savary, his expressionistic style is an explicit or implicit source of inspiration. They value the gestural articulation of his brushwork, praise his open-minded, cosmopolitan attitudes or share the pacifism that, especially after the traumatic experiences of the First World War, runs like a thread through Kokoschka’s work, life and legacy. Following his last major solo show in 1986, the Kunsthaus now sets out to acquaint a new generation of visitors with this artist, who died by Lake Geneva in 1980 and whose works are held in substantial numbers in both Vevey and Zurich.