Oskar Kokoschka, a Life

Oskar Kokoschka, a Life

by Frank Whitford

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Library Journal
Whitford, Frank. Oskar Kokoschka: a life. Atheneum. 1986. c.288p. illus. index. LC 85-48121. ISBN 0-689-11794-9. $17.95. biog/art ~ In his modest acknowledgment, Whitford states that his book is not the definitive biography. However, it is a knowledgeable and lively one. Kokoschka (1886-1980) wrote an autobiography published in 1974, and there is also a great deal of other writing by and about him. Austrian by birth, expressionist and humanist by temperament, he is best known for his kinetic, emotionally revealing portraits and energized, colorful landscapes. A veteran of World War I, he was declared a ``degenerate artist'' by the Nazis, and he fled Middle Europe for London. In later years, when he had become an international success, he and his wife settled in Switzerland, near Montreux. Whitford supplies many pointed anecdotes to illuminate Kokoschka's enfant terrible style. (Illustrations not seen.) Sabarsky, writer on the Vienna Secession and author of a new book on Egon Schiele ( Egon Schiele , Rizzoli, 1985), has edited a collection of early drawings and watercolors by Kokoschka. The similarity of many of these to Schiele's work is striking. An attractive, expensive paperback, this would have most value and interest to modern art scholars. The text consists of introduction and two brief essays, one by Kokoschka himself. Both of these books are for comprehensive modern art collections. Hara L. Seltzer, NYPL

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Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
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