Oskar Kokoschka. Hans Tietze and Erica Tietze-Conrat. 1909

Oskar Kokoschka Hans Tietze and Erica Tietze-Conrat 1909

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 504 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

In 1909 the Viennese art historians Hans and Erica Tietze asked the twenty-three year-old Kokoschka to paint a marriage portrait for their mantelpiece. Mrs. Tietze recalled that she and her husband were painted individually, a fact suggested by their separate poses and gazes. Kokoschka used thin layers of color to create the hazy atmosphere surrounding the couple, and added a sense of crackling energy by scratching the paint with his fingernails. The Museum bought this painting from the Tietzes in 1939, just one year after the couple immigrated to New York.

Gallery label from 2006.
Additional text

The Tietzes were socially prominent art historians. The attention Kokoschka gave to their nervous, sensitive hands is a clue to the characters of the two, whom the artist described as "closed personalities so full of tension."

Gallery label from German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, March 27–July 11, 2011.

The Tietzes were socially prominent art historians, but Kokoschka ignores their public personas to find a mysterious delicacy in their private relationship. Erica gazes out toward us; Hans looks at Erica's hand, and reaches for it without touching it, so that his hands and her left arm form an arch that is broken at its summit by a narrow gap, a space with a psychic charge. The couple emerge from a shimmering ground of russets and dim blues into which their outlines seem to melt in places. Scratches in the thin oil—made, according to Erica Tietze—Conrat, with the artist's fingernails-create a texture of ghostly half-marks around the figures, a subtle halo of crackling energy.

Like his Viennese compatriot Egon Schiele, Kokoschka tried to transcend academic formulas with an art of emotional and physical immediacy-an art, in his words, "to render the vision of people being alive." Hans Tietze and Erica Tietze-Conrat is one of his "black portraits," in which he tried to penetrate his subjects' "closed personalities so full of tension." (His Vienna was also the home of Sigmund Freud.)

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 62.
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
30 1/8 x 53 5/8" (76.5 x 136.2 cm)
Credit
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund
Object number
651.1939
Copyright
© 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Pro Litteris, Zurich
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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Provenance Research Project

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

Erica Tietze-Conrat and Hans Tietze, Vienna and New York, 1909 The Museum of Modern Art, New York (acquired through Hugo Feigl, New York) February 1940 ( Approved for acquisition on December 8, 1939)

Provenance research is a work in progress, and is frequently updated with new information. If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please email [email protected] or write to:

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Provenance

Erica Tietze-Conrat and Hans Tietze, Vienna and New York, 1909 The Museum of Modern Art, New York (acquired through Hugo Feigl, New York) February 1940 ( Approved for acquisition on December 8, 1939)

Exhibition history

San Francisco, Golden Gate International Exposition, May 25 - September 29, 1940

MoMA Exh. #110: "Painting and Sculpture from the Museum Collection", October 23, 1940 - January 23, 1941 (acquisition announced)

Chicago, Arts Club of Chicago, "Kokoschka", January 3 - 27, 1941

Lincoln Warehouse, July 22 - September 14, 1942

St. Louis, City Art Museum, "Kokoschka", October 1 - 31, 1942

MoMA Exh. #209: "Twentieth Century Portraits", December 9, 1942 - January 24, 1943

Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, "Czechoslovakian Art", October 28 - November 28, 1943

MoMA Exh. #266: "Paintings, Sculpture, Graphic Arts from the Museum Collection", November 15, 1944 - May 30, 1945

MoMA Exh. #290: "The Museum Collection of Painting and Sculpture", June 20, 1945 - February 13, 1946

MoMA Exh. #312: "Museum Collection of Painting and Sculpture", February 19 - May 5, 1946

MoMA Exh. #324: "Paintings, Sculpture, and Graphic Arts from the Museum Collection", July 2, 1946 - July 31, 1947; January 9 - September 16, 1948; October 6, 1949 - August 21, 1950; October 17, 1950 - October 27, 1952; February 9 - June 10, 1953; October 14, 1953 - September 13, 1954; February 28, 1956 - January 2, 1957

Richmond, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, "Portraits", September 10 - October 12, 1947

See MoMA Exh. #324

Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art, "Kokoschka", October 4 - November 14, 1948

Washington, D.C., The Phillips Memorial Gallery, "Kokoschka", December 1, 1948 - January 15, 1949 and tour:
St. Louis, City Art Museum, February 21 - March 21, 1949
San Francisco, San Francisco Museum of Art, April 10 - May 15, 1949
Wilmington, DE, Wilmington Society of Fine Arts, June 6 - July 3, 1949
MoMA Exh. #415: "Oskar Kokoschka", July 19 - October 4, 1949

See MoMA Exh. #324

MoMA Exh. #456: "Painting and Sculpture from the Museum Collection", August 29 - October 15, 1950

See MoMA Exh. #324

Minneapolis, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, "Great Portraits by Famous Painters", November 11 - December 25, 1952

See MoMA Exh. #324

MoMA Exh. #538: "Museum Collections: Expressionism in Germany", June 23 - October 4, 1953

See MoMA Exh. #324

MoMA Exh. #567: "XXVth Anniversary Exhibitions: Paintings", first floor, October 19, 1954 - January 23, 1955

Kassel, Museum Fridericianum, "Twentieth Century Art", July 15 - September 15, 1955

Vienna, Wiener Secession, "Oskar Kokoschka", during the Vienna Opera Festival, October 15 - November 13, 1955

See MoMA Exh. #324

MoMA Exh. #622: "German Art of the 20th Century", 3rd floor, October 2 - December 1, 1957

MoMA Exh. #635: "Second Floor Permanent Museum Collection", November 26 - December 1958; June 15, 1959 - April 18, 1960; July 29, 1960 - April 14, 1961; September 7 - October 26, 1962

Bayer Gallery, "Oskar Kokoschka", January 17 - February 23, 1959

See MoMA Exh. #635

MoMA Exh. #664: "Portraits from the Museum Collection", May 5 - removed July 5, 1960

See MoMA Exh. #635

MoMA Exh. #713: "Paintings, Sculpture and Graphic Art from the Museum Collection", January 30 - November 4, 1963

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, "Paintings from The Museum of Modern Art, New York", December 16, 1963 - March 1, 1964 (extended to March 22)

MoMA Exh. #732: "Art in a Changing World: 1884-1964: Painting and Sculpture from the Museum Collection", II-7, May 27, 1964 - October 5, 1966; II-7, December 7, 1966 - March 23, 1967; II-7, June 7 - September 26, 1968

New York, Marlborough-Gerson Gallery Inc., "Oskar Kokoschka Retrospective", October 19 - November 19, 1966

See MoMA Exh. #732

MoMA Exh. #891: "Painting and Sculpture from the Museum Collection", III-3, added May 15, 1969 - November 4, 1969

MoMA Exh. #909: "Painting and Sculpture from the Museum Collections", II-3, November 5, 1969 - removed November 10, 1972

MoMA Exh. #1002: "The Painting and Sculpture Collection: A New Perspective", II, December 11, 1972 - April 21, 1980

New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Modern Masters: European Paintings from MoMA", June 5 - October 12, 1980

New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, "Expressionism: A German Intuition, 1905-1920", November 14, 1980 - January 18, 1981

New York, Marlborough Gallery, "Oskar Kokoschka: Memorial Exhibition", May 9 - June 12, 1981 and tour:
London, Marlborough Fine Art, June 26 - July 31, 1981

MoMA Exh. #1372: "Selections from the Permanent Collection: Painting and Sculpture", II-11, May 17, 1984 - January 22, 1985; II-11, March 11, 1987 - August 4, 1992

Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne, "Vienne 1880-1938 L'Apocalypse Joyeuse", February 6 - May 5, 1986

MoMA Exh. #1426: "Vienna 1900: Art, Architecture, and Design", International Council Galleries, 1st floor, July 3 - October 22, 1986

New York, Guggenheim Museum, "Oskar Kokoschka", organized by Tate Galley, London, December 9, 1986 - February 16, 1987

See MoMA Exh. #1372

MoMA Exh. #1647: "Selections from the Collection", II-9 and II-10, March 13 - July 6, 1993

MoMA Exh. #1656: "Selections from the Permanent Collection of Painting and Sculpture", II-6, August 14, 1993 - November 20, 1996; II-6, March 26 - September 24, 1997

Vienna, Österreichische Galerie, "Oskar Kokoschka", December 18, 1996 - March 2, 1997

See MoMA Exh. #1656

MoMA Exh. #1836A: "MoMA2000, ModernStarts: People, Language of the Body", October 7, 1999 - February 1, 2000

London, Tate Modern, "Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis", February 1 - April 29, 2001

New York, Neue Galerie, "Oskar Kokoschka: Early Portraits from Vienna and Berlin, 1909-1914", March 15 - June 10, 2002

Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, "Oskar Kokoschka - The Modern Portrait", July 5 - September 29, 2002

MoMA Exh. #1931: "Painting and Sculpture: Inaugural Installation", 5th Floor, gallery 5, November 20, 2004 - January 7, 2008

Vienna, Belvedere, "Oskar Kokoschka: Traumender Knabe - Enfant Terrible", January 24, 2008 - May 11, 2008

MoMA Exh. #2026: "Painting and Sculpture Changes 2008", 5th Floor, gallery 5, added September 16 - November 24, 2008

MoMA Exh. #2154: "German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse", Sixth Floor, special exhibition galleries, March 27 - July 11, 2011

London, The National Gallery, "The Portrait in Vienna 1900", October 9, 2013 - January 12, 2014

MoMA Exh. #2279: "Painting and Sculpture Changes 2014", 5th Floor, gallery 4, added September 5, 2014 - May 12, 2015

MoMA Exh. #2320: "Painting and Sculpture Changes 2015", 5th Floor, gallery 4, added September 16, 2015 - January 27, 2016

New York, Neue Galerie, "Munch and Expressionism", February 18 - June 13, 2016

MoMA Exh. #2345B: "Painting and Sculpture Changes 2016", 5th Floor, gallery 4, added August 15, 2016 - February 2, 2017

MoMA Exh. #2462: “Collection: 1880s-1940s”, 5th Floor, gallery 504, "New Expression in Austria and Germany", added February 22, 2021 -

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