Academic journal article German Quarterly

Oskar Kokoschka: Kunst und Politik 1937-1950

Academic journal article German Quarterly

Oskar Kokoschka: Kunst und Politik 1937-1950

Article excerpt

Sultano, Gloria, and Patrick Werkner. Oskar Kokoschka: Kunst und Politik 1937-1950. Vienna: Bohlau, 2003.360 pp. $58.00 hardcover.

Although this volume is primarily intended for art historians, art gallerists, art collectors, and Kokoschka specialists, it is also of general interest to scholars investigating the confluence of politics and art, the situation of authors and artists in exile, the fate of "degenerate art" in Nazi Germany, and art during the Cold War (Vienna). The project originated as a form of catalog for the newly founded Oskar Kokoschka Zentrum at the Universität für angewandte Kunst in Vienna (1998), which was chosen by the artist's widow as the archival site of Kokoschka's papers, books, artworks, and photographs. The director of this research center, Patrick Werkner, and his collaborator and co-author Gloria Soltano, have sorted through this wealth of new material, written essays contextualizing Kokoschka's work in different phases of the period 1937-1950, collected reviews documenting the reception of his art, published a selection of his correspondence (annotated), compiled a "Political and Cultural Chronicle" of that time, and provided a detailed record of ids exhibitions (international). The authors focus on Kokoschka's 1937 exhibition in Vienna, his role in the traveling Nazi exhibition "Entartete Kunst," his years in exile (especially Prague and London), his "political" paintings, and his art in the immediate postwar years. This is not intended as a monograph for casual readers but rather as a reference work documenting the exhibitions of Kokoschka's art from 1937 to 1950 in painstaking detail. …

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