Adolf Loos, a renowned architect and design critic, purchased a bust of Oskar Kokoschka in 1909. This was a significant act, as the portrait featured Kokoschka’s new approach to art that rejected the graceful Art Nouveau style for a brutally expressive quality. At the time, this was considered outrageous and met with ridicule.
Kokoschka’s portrait of Adolf Loos captures his tension through a sensitive, quivering line. This new approach to portraiture showed influences from Fauvism and Post-Impressionism while retaining human feeling. In addition to Adolf Loos, Kokoschka’s early portraits included Alma Mahler and Peter Altenberg.
Kokoschka’s innovations extended beyond portraiture; he continued to push boundaries throughout his career by rejecting traditional forms and experimenting with new techniques. This led him towards more abstract work later on in his career.
Overall, it is clear that Adolf Loos recognized the significance of Kokoshca’s new approach to art before many others did at the time. His purchase of the ridiculed bust demonstrated not only his appreciation for art but also his forward-thinking perspective on contemporary movements in modern art history.