Oskar KokoschkaAustria 1886-1980
Portrait of a Woman 79.0082
A teacher, poet, and dramatist, Kokoschka was also an active member of the German Expressionist movement of the early twentieth century. He moved freely from painting to graphic works, generating portraits composed of forceful, expressive lines. These portraits, however, captured more than just the sitters' external features--they also reflected personalities and psychological turmoil. Kokoschka's compassion for lonely and tormented people reveals the effects of war and political crisis, with which he was intimately familiar. He served in WWI and fled Austria in the 1930s to avoid Nazi occupation of his homeland. Kokoschka was outspokenly opposed to the Nazis, who declared his art "degenerate" and included his works in the 1937 Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition in Munich. Kokoschka remained unaffected by the various art movements surrounding him in postwar years, continuing throughout his long life to create highly personal versions of the expressionist art he had been creating for decades.
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