Sale: 406 / Modern Art, June 08. 2013 in Munich Lot 66

 
66
Oskar Kokoschka
Orchideen mit exotischem Vogel, 1944.
Watercolor
Estimate:
€ 20,000 / $ 22,000
Sold:
€ 51,240 / $ 56.364

(incl. 22% surcharge)
Lot description
Orchideen mit exotischem Vogel. 1944.
Watercolor.
Signed and dated "44, London" lower right. On Ingres laid paper by Arches (with watermark), laid on cardboard. 48 x 63 cm (18,8 x 24,8 in), size of sheet.

The work will be included into the III volume of the forthcoming catalog raisonné by Alfred Weidinger and Alice Strobl.

PROVENANCE: Galerie Grosshennig, Düsseldorf.
Private collection Northern Germany.

EXHIBITION: Deutsche und Französische Kunstwerke des 20. Jahrhunderts, Galerie Grosshennig, Düsseldorf, 5 November, 1973 - 28 February, 1974, p. 22 with illu. in colors.

Oskar Kokoschka, a goldsmith's son, grew up in Vienna. While attending the Kunstgewerbeschule there from 1905 until 1909, he was already working at the Wiener Werkstätte, founded by Josef Hoffmann in 1903. Kokoschka's illustrations and prints of that period reveal the influence of Viennese Jugendstil whereas, apart from van Gogh and Hodler, the Viennese Secession was important for his painting. From 1910 in Berlin, he worked on Herwarth Walden's magazine 'Der Sturm', contributing not only drawings but also publishing his writings, among them the play 'Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen' ['Murderers, Women's Hope']. A liaison with Alma Mahler lasted from 1911 until 1914. His early work, cycles of lithographs as well as visionary pictures and portraits, is steeped in psychical drama. Enlisting in the Austrian cavalry in 1914, he was severely wounded and discharged to Vienna in 1916. That year he met the actress Käthe Richter in Berlin and moved with her to Dresden. There Kokoschka was appointed professor at the Art Academy in 1919 but gave up the post in 1924. The years that followed saw him based in Paris and travelling constantly. He did not return to Vienna until 1931. Appalled by the radical right-wing tendencies he encountered there, Kokoschka moved to Prague in 1934. In 1937 the National Socialists confiscated 417 of his works. A year later the artist emigrated to London, where allegorical subject matter with political thematic overtones began to inform his pictures.

Several chalk drawings were made in spring 1944, in which the artist employed the color with regards to illustrating light and space. This new approach in Kokoschka‘s design can also be found in our flower still life. Additionally, this watercolor lives from the immediacy of spontaneity. This watercolor, remarkable for its lively composition, is a prime example of this technique, which, for its swift style, often stands in the shadow of oil painting. But it is the lucid colors in their airy materiality that make for the unique color experience, which simply could not be achieved with opaque oil paintings. In our watercolor Kokoschka shows his mastery in handling this demanding technique. Without the slightest hint of a preliminary drawing the artist captured the blossom’s natural freshness and purity that is unmatched in terms of optical brilliance. Our work f a prime example of this creative power.

He spent time in Switzerland in 1947 on the occasion of the large-scale retrospectives of his work mounted by the Basel Kunsthalle and the Zurich Kunsthaus. There followed trips to Salzburg, Hamburg and the United States, where he taught at the Minneapolis School of Art in 1952. Kokoschka moved to Lake Geneva in 1953 and that same year began teaching a course he called the 'School of Seeing' under the auspices of the International Summer Academy of Fine Art at Salzburg. The stage designs he created at Wilhelm Furtwängler's suggestion for the 1955/56 Festival production of Mozart's 'Magic Flute' are a highlight of his Salzburg work. During the years that followed he travelled widely in Europe, Africa and the United States. He received numerous honours during those years and exhibitions and retrospectives of his work were mounted by, among others, the Tate Gallery in London (1962) and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (1968). He again turned to making prints, producing more than two hundred lithographs and etchings, most of them in cycles. In February 1970 the artist began to write his autobiography, 'Mein Leben', which was published a year later and appeared in 1974 in English as 'My Life'. Kokoschka died in Montreux on 22 February 1980.

66
Oskar Kokoschka
Orchideen mit exotischem Vogel, 1944.
Watercolor
Estimate:
€ 20,000 / $ 22,000
Sold:
€ 51,240 / $ 56.364

(incl. 22% surcharge)