This impressive biography of Oskar Kokoschka considers his artistic and literary œuvre against the backdrop of the times he lived in, including a detailed account of the decade he spent in Britain. This is the first major biography of Kokoschka for thirty years and it offers new and unexpected insights into the life of this influential figure.
Rüdiger Görner considers the personal, artistic and political dimensions of Oskar Kokoschka’s fascinating life. Kokoschka was one of the lovers of arguably the most notorious femme fatale of the twentieth century, Alma Mahler-Werfel, who continued to influence his life and work long after the end of their relationship. Kokoschka’s determination to reject abstract art – which he associated with an increasingly impersonal technocratic world – is seen by Görner as the basis for his many portraits and self-portraits. The moral dimension of Kokoschka’s work is underlined by one of his surprising ambitions: to produce a portrait of Gandhi, in the hope that it might inspire change in the world’s thinking.
This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the cultural and political history of the twentieth century, reshaping our understanding of Kokoschka’s life and times.
All recommendations from Autumn 2018