Portrait of the artist Oskar Kokoschka

Oskar Kokoschka


O.K. – those initials were of crucial importance for the art development of the 20th-century. His style of painting and drawing was trend-setting.

As a painter, graphic artist and writer, Oskar Kokoschka was an important pioneer of Expressionism. He studied at the Vienna School of Applied Arts and was influenced by the art of Vincent van Gogh, Ferdinand Hodler and the artists of the Vienna Secession such as Gustav Klimt. Deemed his art as degenerate by the Nazis, Kokoschka fled to Prague and later lived in exile in London.

The artist achieved particular fame through his portraits and city views. In his flower paintings, Kokoschka did not simply copy nature but constructed a new, artistic reality without completely abstracting the subject of the picture. In 1953 he founded the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, which he called the "School of Vision".