Modern and Contemporary Art /01 June 2003


Oscar Kokoschka (1886-1980)

untitled (Self Portrait)
c. 1918
gouache on paper
12 h × 9¼ w in (30 × 23 cm)

This work dates from the early teens during a period when Kokoschka's life changed considerably. In 1908, Kokoschka's work was shown at the Kunstschau exhibition in Vienna, at an exhibition of the avant-garde group of artists around Gustav Klimt. Kokoschka's work was shocking for its untamed expressionistic paint handling and violent tone. In 1914, he exhibited at the Hagenbund in Vienna, with the opening reception attended by Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who stated indignantly, 'This fellow's bones ought to be broken in his body!' In early 1915, Kokoschka suffered a serious head injury, effecting his mental and physical state. Works during this period have a somber tone and loose composition. The painting presented here is an excellent example of work from an important period in Kokoschka's life. Signed, 'OK,' lower left. Gallery label on verso. Nicely framed. Exhibited: Sari Heller Ltd., Beverly Hills, 'Degenerate Art,' July - August 1961.

provenance: Signature Gallery, New York

estimate: $20,000–25,000
result: $24,570

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