Kokoschka. Animaux totems


Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980), Doris et le chat II [Doris mit Katze II], 1945, aquarelle sur papier. Fondation Oskar Kokoschka, Vevey © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka / 2022, ProLitteris, Zurich

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From 21 June 2023to 29 October 2023
Opening 20 June 2023


Totem Animals

The Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka (1886 – 1980) loved depicting animals. Mammals, fish, birds, amphibians and reptiles appear everywhere in his work. They are already a substantial presence in his youthful creations, in which he conjured up a fairy-tale world that was soon to be engulfed by the great disillusionment of the First World War. The exhibition devotes much attention to what the British art historian Kenneth Clark, who was close to Kokoschka, called totemism: elevating the animal to the status of a social, moral or political symbol. Kokoschka admired the movement and simplicity of cave painting, and he endeavoured to express this vitality in his own work. And what better topic to prompt a full investigation of the theme than animals, in all their diversity?