Oskar Kokoschka

Oskar Kokoschka
Reclining Female Nude
ca. 1911-1912
Black chalk and watercolor on paper.
12 7/8 x 17 5/8 inches (32.8 x 44.8 cm)
Bequest of Fred Ebb.
© Oskar Kokoschka / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Kokoschka's early drawings were primarily related to his work for the Wiener Werkstatte, the Viennese design workshops that promoted the Jugendstil aesthetic in the fabrication of everyday objects. In 1909, after discovering van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and the Belgian sculptor Georges Minne, he adopted a more direct approach, closer to that of the expressionists. Kokoschka's search for greater authenticity led him to create portraits whose brutal realism often shocked his contemporaries. Among artistic circles, however, his drawings, published in Der Sturm, exerted a powerful influence. Drawings of nudes, such as this one, occupy an important place in his work between 1907 and 1913. Kokoschka portrayed the unidealized body with a sure, sensitive contour line, using unnatural hues to accentuate certain parts of the body. The subject of this drawing is no Venus or odalisque, but rather an earthly creature.


Signed at lower right, "OK"; verso: Stamp, "Von der Zentralstelle für Denkmalschutz zur Ausfuhr freigegeben" (Released for exportation from the Central Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments).

Picadilly Gallery, London; Scott Elliott; from whom acquired by Fred Ebb, New York.
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