Oskar Kokoschka

Oskar Kokoshka opened Albert Adams’s exhibition in Cape Town in October 1959 with a brief speech.

“It is a great pleasure for me to say a few words of introduction on the occasion of Albert Adams’ s exhibition in Cape Town.

In art I am anxious to concentrate on what the present has to show, because the significance of art today is more vital to us than any criticism from a conventional historical aspect of a later epoch.

We live with closed eyes, not daring to see the misery we create on earth. The task of the artist is to see. In the years between and after the world wars, an artistic movement became the fashion even in countries far away from Paris where it started. It did away with artistic heritage of humanity. Now this so-called “Non-objective Art” is only a signal of the general romantic spirit of modern man, who would rather visit the moon than reconcile his individual existence with the changing environment, conditioned by modern technical civilisation.

My humble opinion always was (and is) that, first of all, an artist has to provide his fellow men with visual information. This must be derived from individual experience if it is to be of any importance for others.

My young friend, the painter Albert Adams, felt the sensation of individual experience as a student in my School of Vision, which I hold every summer in Salzburg. He set his teeth into a kind of fruit, new to most of our contemporary artists.

Now it is for the visitors of this exhibition at Cape Town to tell us how the fruit tastes.”

You can listen to Kokoschka’s remarks here.