Exhibitions 2019-2020


Oskar Kokoschka. The Call of Dresden
16 May 2020 - 16 August 2020
Opening on May 16th at 18:00, p
art of Museums Night on the Vaud Riviera

Espace Kokoschka, Musée Jenisch, Vevey

Almost exactly a hundred years ago, Kokoschka (1886 Pöchlarn – 1980 Montreux) is appointed to a professorship at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, where he embarks on a mission to overhaul the teaching methods. His time in the city known as “Florence on the Elbe” lasts, with a few interruptions, from 1916 to 1923. Kokoschka forges close relationships with Expressionist circles and paints a large number of portraits.
Stimulated by the city’s vibrant artistic life, he experiments with various techniques during a period of great creativity in which he comes to terms with the events of the First World War and recovers from his injuries. “I was able to do anything I wanted in Dresden at that time,” he confesses in his autobiography.

Permanent galleries
From 25 February 2020 (except during exhibition setups)
Espace Kokoschka, Musée Jenisch, Vevey

The Musée Jenisch has several exhibition rooms devoted to Oskar Kokoschka. A biographical room offers an insight into the artist’s eventful life, while a cabinet of curiosities reconstructs the surroundings in which he worked in Villeneuve, Switzerland, where he settled in 1953. Painting, drawing and lithographic materials, items from the artist’s personal collection and works from his library are shown alongside his large tapestry Cupid and Psyche. Masterpieces from the collection of paintings that are especially representative of Kokoschka’s work are also exhibited regularly.
Musée Jenisch Vevey

Oskar Kokoschka. Arcadia of Dreams
5 April 2019 - 11 August 2019
Opening on April 4th at 18:30
Espace Kokoschka, Musée Jenisch, Vevey

For all of us, Ancient Greece represents an ideal, like the Garden of Eden. Why? Perhaps because it is where human beings achieved the best realisation of humanity.” Oskar Kokoschka in his autobiography My Life [p. 284]
The Fête des Vignerons, which takes place this year in Vevey, celebrates a world close to the heart of Austrian Expressionist Oskar Kokoschka (Pöchlarn 1886 – 1980 Montreux). His pastoral scenes are a paean to a natural idyll in which shepherds and their flocks live side by side in harmony: a land of plenty where animals graze peacefully, the grass is lush and green, and fruit ripens in the sun. It is an unspoilt paradise watched over by Pan and Dionysus, as prodigal divinities. Invoking an Arcadia of dreams, these drawings and lithographs express the hopes for peace and the social idealism of a profoundly committed artist for whom Antiquity constitutes a political and moral golden age.

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.