Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980)

Mädchenhalbakt, den Rock zwischen den Beinen durchgezogen (Tochter des Gauklers)

Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980)
Mädchenhalbakt, den Rock zwischen den Beinen durchgezogen (Tochter des Gauklers)
signed with the intials 'OK.' (lower right); with the inscription 'Mädchen mit Lendentuch 1907 6' (lower sheet edge)
pencil on buff paper
17¾ x 12 3/8 in. (45.2 x 31.3 cm.)
Drawn in 1907
Dr A. W. von Dietel, Berlin; his sale, F.A.C Prestel, Frankfurt, 18 October 1928, lot 1076 or 1077.
Städtische Kunsthalle Mannheim (as 'Mädchenakt', Inv. Nr. 2484), by whom acquired at the above sale; Confiscated as 'entartete Kunst' by the Nationalist Socialists, 28 August 1937 (Inv. No.EK6514); With Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, until 13 December 1940; Karl Buchholz, Berlin, by whom acquired from the above.
Wolfgang Gurlitt, Munich.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
W. Grohmann, 'Zeichnungen von Klimt, Kokoschka, Schiele. Ein Beitrag zue Geschichte der neuen Kunst in Wien, in Monatshefte für Bücherfreunde und Graphiksammler, Leipzig, 1925, p. 508 (illustrated).
E. Rathenau, Der Zeichner Kokoschka. Vorwort von Paul Westheim, New York, 1962, no. 11 (illustrated n.p.).
F. Novotny, 'Oskar Kokoschka as a Draughtsman', in Apollo, vol. LXXVII, no. 7, London, 1962, p. 511 (illustrated).
H. Kinkel, 'Kokoschka und seine Linienwelt. Ein Ausstellungsereignis in der Stuttgarter Staatsgalerie', in Weltkunst, no. 7, Munich, 1966, p. 282.
F. Novotny, 'Oskar Kokoschka als Zeichner. Zur Kokoschka-Austellung in der Tate Gallery, London 1962', in Über das Elemantaire in der Kunstgeschichte und andere Aufsätze, Vienna, 1968, p. 72 (illustrated p. 179).
A. Quendler, Oskar Kokoschka: Reminder, 1986 (a film).
H. J. Buderer, Entartete Kunst - Beschlagnahmeaktionen in der Städtischen Kunsthalle Mannheim 1937, Heidelberg, 1987, p. 75.
A. Weidinger & A. Strobl, Oskar Kokoschka, die Zeichnungen und Aquarelle 1897-1916, Salzburg, 2008, no. 162, p. 94 (illustrated).
Mannheim, Kunsthalle, Oskar Kokoschka, Das gesammelte Werk, January - March 1931, no. 92.
London, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Kokoschka, Exhibition of Drawings and Graphic Art, 1906-1952, September - October 1952, no. 3. Vienna, Secession, Kokoschka, Wien, Wiener Secession, October - November 1955, no. 50.
Bremen, Kunsthalle, Oskar Kokoschka, April - June 1956, no. 8.
Berlin, Haus am Lützowplatz, Oskar Kokoschka, Aquarelle, Handzeichnungen, Druckgraphik, September - October 1956, no. 5.
Vienna, Künstlerhaus, Oskar Kokoschka, Veranstaltet von der österreichischen Kulturvereinigung, May - July 1958, no. 168.
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Oskar Kokoschka, March - May 1958, no. 158. Rome, Palazzo Barberini, Oskar Kokoschka, December 1959 - January 1960, no. 6.
Heidelberg, Kunstverein, Oskar Kokoschka, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik aus der Sammlung Wolfgang Gurlitt, January - February 1961, no. 3.
London, Tate Gallery, Kokoschka, A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings, Lithographs, Stage Design and Books, organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain, September - November 1962, no. 162, p. 89 (illustrated pl. 39).
Darmstadt, Mathildenhöhe, I. Internationale der Zeichnung, September - November 1964, no. 4, p. 280 (illustrated).
Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie, Oskar Kokoschka, Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, Austellung zum 80 Geburtstag, March - April 1966, no. 6.
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Oskar Kokoschka, June - July 1966, no. 124.
Augsburg, Holbeinhaus, Oskar Kokoschka, Handzeichnungen, Aquarelle, October - November 1969, no. 2 (illustrated).
Vienna, Österreichische Galerie, Oskar Kokoschka, zum 85 Geburtstag, April - June 1971, no. 110.
Salzburg, Galerie Welz, Oskar Kokoschka zum 85 Geburtstag, Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, March - April 1971, no. 4.
Vienna, Albertina, Oskar Kokoschka, Das Frühwerk 1897/98-1917, Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, March - May 1994, no. 62 (illustrated).
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Brought to you by

Cornelia Svedman
Cornelia Svedman

Lot Essay

'What is nowadays labelled Expressionism could have come into existence only in Germany, where there was a desire to carry art to the masses, to the "new man", as a reaction against Jugendstil or Art Nouveau, which set out only to beautify the surface and made no appeal to the inner life' (Oskar Kokoschka My Life, London, 1974, p. 66).

Executed in 1907, Tochter des Gauklers is an outstanding early drawing by Oskar Kokoschka that reflects both the young artist's prodigious mastery of line and his pioneering 'Expressionist' concern with the outward expression, through the body of his subject's inner life and psychology. Depicting a thin, semi-naked young girl on the cusp of puberty, standing in an awkward and expressive pose, the drawing is one of the finest of a radical series of drawings of the children of a circus family that Kokoschka made while studying at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna. 'There', as he later recalled in his autobiography, 'I got the children of a circus family, who used to live by modelling in the winter when there was no other work, to play and leap around, so far as the space allowed. Every day I made great sheaves of lightning studies. Capturing the various movements and twists of the body in action really stimulated me unlike the tedious academic instruction' (Oskar Kokoschka, My Life, London, 1974, p. 19).

Tochter des Gauklers is a more carefully composed and finely crafted work than most of these dramatic and often experimental drawings aimed at capturing the inner dynamism and energy of his unorthodox subjects. Concentrating on a contrast between the awkward semi-naked form of the young girl, her strange but expressive pose and her powerfully meditative gaze, Kokoschka in this work has created a startling graphic portrait of the awkward in-between state of adolescence. Seeming to contrast the apparent maturity of this figure's melancholic introspection with her youthful, possibly even malnourished physique, this exquisite, simple, but also startlingly bold line drawing sets a template for the powerful figures of youths that populated Kokoschka's famous posters for the 1908 Kunstschau and his graphic poem Die traumenden Knaben.

It is an important part, therefore, of an extensive series of works from this period concerned with a graphic expression of the strange state of adolescence as a kind of metaphor for the societal misfit. This was a psychological state of being all too familiar to the young Kokoschka at this time, who felt himself at odds with Kunstgewerbeschule life and teaching while also fast gaining a reputation for himself as both a precocious genius and the leading enfant terrible of the Viennese avant-garde. All these qualities, along with the stark and simple use of a masterful graphic outline to delineate a powerfully expressive, if also awkward, figure in this work, are ones that closely anticipate the subsequent graphic work of Egon Schiele three to four years later. Indeed, the strange but expressive pose of the girl in this work with her arms crossing both in front of and behind her is one that Schiele himself experimented with in several of his early drawings and paintings of adolescents, most notably perhaps in a famous watercolour self portrait of 1910.

More from Impressionist/Modern Works on Paper

View All
View All