Oskar Kokoschka

A leading figure among the Austrian artists of his generation, Kokoschka rejected the idealized academic approach to the female body in favor of capturing the uninhibited poses and expressive movements of his models. In this early work, the sparse, angular quality of the artist’s line emphasizes the contorted pose of the standing girl. She is portrayed with her eyes closed and her head turned over her left shoulder, bending and flexing her outsize fingers. Her kneeling companion fastens the standing girl’s skirt, gazing toward but not directly at the viewer. The intimate, introspective atmosphere that permeates this sheet connects it with drawings and prints that Kokoschka was making for the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops) at this time.

Oskar Kokoschka
Austrian, 1886–1980
Two Girls Dressing (The Dress Rehearsal), 1908
Graphite pencil, brush and black ink, watercolor and opaque watercolor on brown paper
Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, INV. NO. C 2014-68—WILLY HAHN COLLECTION
© Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden © 2021 Fondation Oskar Kokoschka / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ProLitteris, Zürich
Photo: Herbert Boswank