Oskar Kokoschka remAains probably the most deliberately neglected among the European painters, not for any other reason but on account of his own uncompromising and often violent behaviour towards the society he lived in.

But it is never too late as far as unusual talents are concerned, and currently the Modern Art Museum here is paying homage, for the first time in Paris, to this widely ignored figure of early 20th century art.

Born in 1886 in Pochlam, a small town not far from the Austrian capital Vienna, Kokoschka tirelessly painted, while also writing stage plays and poetry, until his death in 1980 in Switzerland at the ripe old age of 94.

Nevertheless, not everyone detested Kokoschka and many well-known Vienna-based figures of the era, such as painters Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, as well as the architect Adolf Loos, remained faithfully behind him in all his artistic, political and literary exploits.

The Modern Art Museum in Paris showcases works by one of the most controversial but also pioneering painters of the 20th century

Kokoschka's restless nature would not be restricted to art and literature only since, with the beginning of the First World War, he joined the Austrian army and almost died after being seriously injured in a battle. Unable to continue his military career with the ensuing physical handicap, he began a series of long voyages in 1920 that would take him, looking for inspirations for his artistic and literary creations, to a number of different countries of Europe as well as in the Middle East and North Africa, his adventurous feats lasting no less than 12 years.

Bride of the Wind (1914)

Finally, upon returning to Vienna to concentrate on his passion for painting, he was once again in trouble because of his criticism of Nazi rule. This time, following an arrest order by the authorities, he escaped to London in 1938, where his works would remain highly controversial just the same...

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