Friday, August 22, 2014

Anton Kolig

The family of the artist
oil on canvas
other detail unknown

Anton Kolig (1886-1950) was an Austrian expressionist painter, in particular, of nudes. His wistful drawings of young men are full of power and tenderness. His nudes and self-portraits are coded psychological studies, expressing mythologized emotional and mental states.

He began his art studies at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts for two years beginning in 1904 with Oskar Kokoschka. He then moved to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts from 1906 to 1912. While at the Academy, Gustav Klimt invited him to participate in one of the group modern art exhibitions. He exhibited his works in 1911 together with Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele. This exposure brought a certain amount of fame and resulted in a traveling scholarship to Paris in 1912, thanks to recommendations from Gustav Klimt.

When World War I broke out, he had to flee as quickly as possible as the Nazi regime started banning modern art in favor of "heroic art". His frescoes were destroyed as "degenerate art".

In 1928 he accepted a professorship at the Wurttembergische Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Stuttgart and was commissioned to paint frescos in the state parliament assembly chamber in Klagenfurt, Austria. After the Annexation of Austria in 1938, Nazi regime started banning modern art in favor of "heroic art", and his frescos were completely destroyed by the Nazis as "degenerate art". He received several awards and prizes, among them the Golden Medal at the "German Arts" exhibition in Dusseldorf in 1928 and the Austrian State Prize in 1936.