In 1910, Kokoschka moved from Impressionism to Expressionism. He sought to express both intellectual and emotional experiences, “the reality behind the appearance.”1
He became particularly able in suggesting deep space, as shown in our painting. Kokoschka stated “an especially characteristic feature of my art is my gift to create in the onlooker the illusion of space, while ignoring the ordinary means of geometric perspective.”2
In truth, he always liked to paint from the highest points, thus achieving the greatest visual scope.At first, Kokoschka concentrated on portraiture but later his interests broadened, and in 1923 he began to travel and discover the expanse and beauty of the natural world. This new subject matter was soon developed into the mature style seen in Tower Bridge, London,
painted on his first trip to England. He painted the scene from the north side of the Thames near London Bridge, capturing the vibrant life of the river and the wharfs. The impression of a moment in time is created by contrasting planes and colors without the necessity of minute detail. This work also reveals Kokoschka's characteristic brush stroke, his extraverted approach and his great objectivity.Endnotes
Referenced Work of Art
- Edith Hoffmann, Kokoschka, His Life and Work, London, Faber and Faber, 1947, p. 72.
- Ibid., p. 137.
- Oskar Kokoschka, Austrian, 1886- . Tower Bridge, London, 1925. Oil on canvas, 30” x 50”. Signed and dated, on the back: O K London Juli 25. Accession 61.36.5CollectionsKunsthalle, Hamburg; Galerie Fischer, Lucerne; Joseph von Sternberg, Hollywood; P. D. McMillan, Minneapolis, 23 November, 1949; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Bequest of Putnam Dana McMillan, 15 November, 1961.ExhibitedHamburg, Kunsthalle, 1925
Zurich, Kunsthaus, 1927
London, Leicester Galleries, 1928
Mannheim, Kunsthalle, 1931
Los Angeles County Museum, 1939, 1943
Chicago, Arts Club, 1946
Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art, Oskar Kokoschka, 1948
Subsequently exhibited at: New York, The Museum of Modern Art; San Francisco, M. H. De Young Memorial Museum; Washington, The Phillips Memorial Gallery; St. Louis, City Art Museum.ReferencesSheldon, Cheney, A Primer of Modern Art, New York, Tudor, 1939, p. 16.
Edith Hoffmann, Kokoschka, His Life and Work, London, Faber and Faber, 1947, p. 148.
James S. Plaut, Oskar Kokoschka, New York, Chanticleer, 1948.
Margaret Lowengrund, “Oskar Kokoschka,” Art Digest, XXIII:19, August, 1949, p. 9.
Hans Maria Wingler, Oskar Kokoschka, Innsbruck, Galerie Welz Salzburg, 1958, p. 315.