Maler, Graphiker und Schriftsteller (1886-1980). Autograph letter signed ("OK"). O. O. 2 SS. Qu.-4to.
$ 2,988 / 2.500 €
An amicable letter in German to Nelly Palache, a friend in London who emigrated from Vienna, about his precarious financial situation. He sends her the watercolours she had seen and the nightmare crab ("die Alpdruckcrabbe"). He donated the leaf with the orchid for the Christmas collection of the Free German Culture League, of which he is president. Fortunately, the leaf was sold very well for the German, Austrian and Czech internees in the English camps. He was able to add 20 books from a Czech benefactor so that woollen blankets, food and tobacco could be sent in good quantities.
His savings went up in smoke faster than in recent times. He talks about the parents of his wife Olda (whom he married in 1941; the father is a friend of Benes: formerly a minister, he is paid as an advisor to the Czech president). Kokoschka has to live by his hands, his brain and his heart ("Ich muss aber von meinen Händen, meinem Gehirn und meinem Herz leben"). He has to build up a secret reserve for himself and Olda; she wants to live with him as soon as possible. So far he has had to pay for two flats, two households, clothes, extra expenses, he could not take care of the most necessary things like dental care, etc. He would be very happy if Nelly could make a sale, because he has come to the end of his own money and cannot ask Olda for a single extra schilling. He is too old for the role of maintained son-in-law, to which, he writes, he is not even legally entitled. The amounts asked are not high because the pound has only a reduced purchasing power, and an English slob gets higher prices because chance has given him the right passport. "Next year I will try to go to America where I have a very good name and a brilliant market. It is not allowed to send from here, nor to paint (landscapes) and the people here are too stupid to understand or promote me. It's not the fault of the war, it was the same 15 years ago! They stick only to Dadaism, they have no idea of art. We got the best art in England where everything is the best, even anti-Semitism and concentration camps" (transl.)..