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Activities 2018

Online catalogue raisonné of the paintings of Oskar Kokoschka
2017 saw a milestone in Oskar Kokoschka research, as the catalogue raisonné of his paintings was published online. The new publication is in part an update of the first volume of the catalogue raisonné by Johannes Winkler and Katharina Erling published in 1995, which covered the works produced between 1906 and 1929, and in part a follow-up to it, with a detailed presentation of the paintings from 1930 to 1980. A print edition of the second volume of the catalogue raisonné, sponsored by the Oskar Kokoschka Foundation, is currently being prepared by Katharina Erling. The research team consists of Walter Feilchenfeldt and Katharina Erling, who are directing the publication, and Sabine Kaufmann, scientific associate and project coordinator. Work on the catalogue will continue in 2018, and will in particular include updates to the exhibition history and bibliography sections. Owners of paintings which can provide information on particular about new locations are kindly asked to contact the curator of the foundation: Ms. Aglaja Kempf, info@oskar-kokoschka.ch

Collection conservation
One of the main tasks for our conservation team in 2017 was managing the collection. The holdings have been reorganised following their return to the museum. Some of the works on paper have also been catalogued and deacidified, while the oils on canvas, pastels and drawings have been systematically photographed to update the inventory and, in due course, publish them online. Work will continue in 2018. In particular, the foundation’s inventory will be input into the database that it shares with the Musée Jenisch. New condition reports will also be compiled with a view to possible restoration, while some of the frames will have to be re-examined.

Exhibitions

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Oskar Kokoschka
19 November 2017 – 22 April 2018
Davos, Kirchner Museum

The Oskar Kokoschka Foundation will be a partner in this comprehensive exhibition dedicated to two major figures of expressionism in Germany and Austria, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) and Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980). Focusing on the period from 1905 to the end of the 1930s, the exhibition points to the parallels that have marked the paths of both artists, especially in their beginnings, and it shows their work in engaging dialogue. Each artist is represented by circa one hundred works, paintings, drawings and engravings among them.
www.kirchnermuseum.ch

Saddle Up! Kokoschka and the equines

Musée Jenisch Vevey
21 June – 7 October 2018

While Kokoschka depicted many different animals in his work, equines – especially horses – seem to have exerted a particular fascination for him. With everything from stallions and mares, donkeys and centaurs to Amazons, unicorns and winged horses, the Austrian artist’s oeuvre is a veritable equine bestiary. The animals’ expressive range is seemingly inexhaustible: they appear as the mounts of agile horsemen, in battle scenes or rural settings, performing in the circus ring, or as the mighty steeds of heroes from Antiquity. For Kokoschka the horse – emblem of the «Blauer Reiter» group of Expressionists formed in Munich in 1911 – chiefly symbolises vitality and movement – values that are also central to his own art.
Musée Jenisch Vevey

Inauguration of two new permanent galleries
From 21 June 2018
Espace Kokoschka, Musée Jenisch, Vevey

One of the galleries will display some key works from the foundation’s collection that are especially representative of the artist’s work; in the other Kokoschka’s easel, painting, drawing and lithography materials, objects from his personal collection, works from his library and his large tapestry Amor und Psyche will offer an insight into the working environment at the villa in Villeneuve that was his Swiss home from 1953.
Musée Jenisch Vevey

Oskar Kokoschka: Eine Retrospektive
14 December 2018 – 10 March 2019
Kunsthaus Zürich

The exhibition is designed as a retrospective with around 250 works and documents covering all periods of Kokoschka’s artistic career. With loans from the most renowned international collections, the show will present all techniques Kokoschka used, such as oil painting, pastel, drawing, watercolor and print, as well as his plays, stage and costume designs. The Kunsthaus Zürich played an important role in Kokoschka’s career from an early stage, and he is accordingly well represented in the museum’s collection, with more than ten oil paintings including masterpieces such as Amorous Couple with a Cat (1917). Since Kokoschka spent the last 27 years of his life in Switzerland, large parts of his artistic estate are to be found in Vevey and Zurich, apart from Vienna. As a consequence, the exhibition is conceived in exchange with the Fondation Oskar Kokoschka in Vevey and the Oskar Kokoschka Research Centre in Vienna. The last Kokoschka retrospective in Switzerland was held at the Kunsthaus Zürich in 1986.
Kunsthaus Zürich

Kokoschka – Dürrenmatt. The Politicisation of Myth in the Cold-War Era
16 December 2018 – 31 March 2019
Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel

The exhibition examines the treatment of themes from Greek mythology and ancient history in the works of Dürrenmatt and Kokoschka. The pair met at Kokoschka’s house in Villeneuve on 25 March 1960. Dürrenmatt subsequently dedicated a poem to his fellow artist, containing a homage to Kokoschka’s triptych The Battle of Thermopylae (1954).
Their works reveal a shared interest in certain concepts, such as the politicisation of myth and self-identification with mythological figures. Both also developed ideas for a united Europe. Classical historian Bruno Snell, who advised Kokoschka on the choice of subject for his triptych, interpreted the Battle of Thermopylae as a key moment in the «creation of Europe» and the «defence of freedom».
The Cold-War threat to the West from the Eastern bloc explains why this military encounter from ancient history had such potential relevance to audiences from the 1950s onwards. In their writings and pictorial works, both artists warned of the danger of a Third World War.
Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel