| Kokoschka, Oscar Biography
Austrian-born painter of expressionist portraits and landscapes.
Oscar Kokoschka was born in Puchlarn, a Danube town, on March 1, 1886. He studied at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts from 1905 to 1908. As an early exponent of the avant-garde expressionist movement, he began to paint psychologically penetrating portraits of Viennese physicians, architects, and artists. Kokoschka was wounded in World War I (1914-1918) and diagnosed as psychologically unstable. He taught art at the Dresden Academy from 1919 to 1924. During this time he painted The Power of Music (1919, Dresden Paintings Collection, Dresden). A succeeding seven-year period of travel in Europe and the Middle East resulted in a number of robust, brilliantly colored landscapes and figure pieces, painted with great freedom and exuberance. Many of them are views of harbors, mountains, and cities.
Oscar Kokoschka, one of the artists denounced by the Nazi government of Germany as degenerate, moved in 1938 to England, where he painted antiwar pictures during World War II (1939-1945) and became a British subject in 1947. After the war he visited the United States and settled in Switzerland. He died in Montreux on February 22, 1980
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