A rare example of the 1918 lithograph print featuring German poet Ivar von Lucken, pencil signed faintly at lower right corner by famed Austrian expressionist artist OSKAR KOKOSCHKA (1886-1980). The print is quite rare, having been originally produced in an edition of only fifty examples; just a handful have appeared at auction in the past 25 years. Kokoschka needs little introduction, to collectors of important 20th century European art. Also talented as a poet and playwright, Kokoschka was at the forefront of intellectual circles for decades. Born in Austria-Hungary, he died in Montreux, Switzerland at the age of 93. He received art training from 1904-1909 in Vienna at the Kunstgewerbeschule, a progressive school, many of whose instructors were from the Vienna Secession movement. Wounded in World War I, Kokoschka was declared a "degenerate" artist by the Nazis, fleeing first to Prague and then to England for the duration of the war. After the war he settled in Switzerland. Kokoschka's modern-looking work has only increased in popularity, one painting fetching over $4 million, including buyer's premium, at a Sotheby's auction in 2017. The subject of this print, von Lucken, was a rather obscure figure of the avant garde in Leipzig and Berlin circles between the wars. Both Otto Dix and Oskar Kokoschka painted his portrait. From Wikipedia: "A description of Iwar von Lücken in the book by Edith Hoffmann on Kokoschka reads: "Iwar von Lücken was a Baltic aristocrat disowned by his family because he preached - and practised - Tolstoian principles; a poet and a man of great knowledge, whom poverty reduced to a Don Quixote-like appearance; while all the others cultivated a conscious dissimilarity from other people but were in fact comfortably connected with the bourgeois world which provided for their needs, Lücken, with his unworldliness, his extreme modesty, his love for children, his classical quotations, his old-fashioned politeness, his weakness for the bottle and his disreputable suits, was probably the last real Bohemian". The work measures 29 1/2" by 18" inside the fillet, and 38" by 26 1/2" in the tasteful frame (on which a previous owner no doubt invested a significant sum). Not examined out of frame. The work appears clean overall with several brown foxing marks, the largest seen about five inches to the left of the subject's lower jaw.
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