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Kunsthaus Zürich

Oskar Kokoschka. A Retrospective

14 December 2018 – 10 March 2019

Oskar Kokoschka (1886 – 1980) is regarded as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His enduring legacy for artistic production from the post-war period to the present day is beyond dispute and yet enigmatic: on a continent riven by two world wars, in which realistic art had become discredited, here was someone unashamedly arguing for the recognition of figurative art. Throughout his life, he believed in the inclusive power of creative expression far removed from state propaganda, and this is reflected in all his oeuvre. In Kokoschka’s own words: ‘Official art is always kitsch, because it serves the anonymous customer, and thus the experience is eliminated.’ – ‘It may be that the contemporary flight from representation has less to do with the inability to design than a shrivelling of the capacity for experience.

Comprising some 200 exhibits, the show is designed as a retrospective and covers every stage of Kokoschka’s artistic career and the full range of his techniques, from oil painting, drawing and watercolour to printmaking.

Supported by:

UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG, Fine Art Insurance Switzerland
Federal Office of Culture
Hulda and Gustav Zumsteg Foundation
Boston Consulting Group
Truus and Gerrit van Riemsdijk Foundation
Dr. Georg and Josi Guggenheim Foundation
as well as other sponsors who prefer to remain anonymous.

Oskar Kokoschka, The Red Egg, 1940 –1941
Oil on canvas, 61 x 76 cm
National Gallery in Prague, © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka, Vevey / 2018 ProLitteris, Zurich
Oskar Kokoschka, The Red Egg, 1940 –1941
Oil on canvas, 61 x 76 cm
National Gallery in Prague, © Fondation Oskar
Kokoschka, Vevey / 2018 ProLitteris, Zurich