Activities 2019

Online catalogue raisonné of the paintings of Oskar Kokoschka
Work on the catalogue will continue in 2019, and will in particular include updates to the exhibition history and bibliography sections, as well as obtaining high resolution pictures. 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 Aglaja Kempf, project coordinator.

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,

Collection conservation
One of the main tasks for our conservation team in 2018 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. Work will continue in 2019. 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.


Permanent galleries
From 22 June 2018
Espace Kokoschka, Musée Jenisch, Vevey

One of the galleries displays 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 Psycheoffer an insight into the working environment at the villa in Villeneuve that was his Swiss home from 1953.

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

The exhibition, produced in in cooperation with the Leopold Museum in Vienna,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 theBattle of Thermopylaeas 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

Oskar Kokoschka: Expressionist, Migrant, European – A Retrospective
6 April 2019 – 8 July 2019
Leopold Museum, Vienna

The Leopold Museum is dedicating one of the most comprehensive retrospectives to date to the “exceptional artist” Oskar Kokoschka. Featuring some 260 exhibits, among them key works from international collections as well as works that have rarely or never been shown before, the presentation shines the spotlight on all periods of Kokoschka’s multi-faceted oeuvre created in Vienna, Dresden, Prague, London and finally Villeneuve. Kokoschka, whose biography reads like a history of the 20thcentury, is presented both as a radical innovator and “multi-talent” – as a painter, draftsman, creator of printed graphic works, writer, dramatist and theater maker, but also as a humanist, staunch European and rather ambivalent “homo politicus”. Numerous documents trace Kokoschka’s changeful relationship with his “homeland” Austria, which he repeatedly left behind. Other emphases include Kokoschka’s altered perception of women – from addressing the battle of the sexes to invoking the figure of the mother as a peacemaker –, his “psychological” portraits allowing introspection, as well as his ongoing advocacy of figurative art, with which he influenced subsequent generations of artists.

The exhibition at the Leopold Museum, which is home to an extensive compilation of works by the artist, is created in close association with the Fondation Oskar Kokoschka in Vevey, the Oskar Kokoschka Center in Vienna as well as in cooperation with the Kunsthaus Zürich.