Oskar Kokoschka and making the invisible forces visible, while they shape the essential human condition
Exploring the 4th dimension of painting which is the core of vision in everything
Oskar Kokoschka was obsessed with omens and visions beyond what we see and regard as common experience. He believed that everything has a 4th dimension where the real energy happens and he captured that dimension, tried to communicate through paintings and play writing the wonder of this world beyond what the eye observes. He developed theories about corporeal and visceral vision and how they shape consciousness, art, and realities.
He did not follow the traditional or “correct” way of drawing, he had no interests in the methods taught at the time but actual painting and reading of classical literature. He claims that commission that he got to paint children’s postcards gave him bases for his study of art.
Existentialism and the social changes taking place
The life of the consciousness is boundless. It interpenetrates the world and is woven in all its imagery… Therefore, we must hearken closely to our inner voice.
Strongly believing that we should be learning the art of seeing, he wanted to capture that vision we all have of the immaterial forces behind the appearance of things. There is always a flux in which we experience this reality and integrate it through the machine called consciousness. Today we try to emulate intelligence and build AI but do we really know enough about consciousness, will we ever emulate that, or will it develop independently on the bases of what we have built already?
“Consciousness is a sea ringed with visions” Oskar Kokoschka
There is a strong conceptual connection between Max Beckmann and Oskar Kokoschka, they are both prime examples of the expressionism movement but disregarded any association at the time of creating. They were both interested in the immaterial, although for Kokoschka it was more about the depth of seeing, the perspective and the abstract forces behind, while Beckmann interpreted his world through the mystical, symbolical and analogous.
Not only a painter but also a play writer, he was preoccupied with humane, a philosophy and moral values of the times he lived in. He was interested in politics and concerned with European society.
He said in 1933 that in this play he
“contrasted the callousness of our male society with my basic conception of man as mortal and woman as immortal; in the modern world it is only the murderer who wishes to reverse this state of affairs.”