Exhibitions 2018

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.

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