oskar kokoschka woodcut
He volunteered for service as a cavalryman in the Austrian army in World War I, and in 1915 was seriously wounded. At the hospital, the doctors decided that he was mentally unstable. Nevertheless, he continued to develop his career as an artist, traveling across Europe and painting the landscape. [ citation needed ]
One of Kokoschka’s teachers suggested he pursue a career in the fine arts after being impressed by some of his drawings.  Against his father’s will, Kokoschka applied to the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna, now the University of Applied Arts Vienna. He received a scholarship and was one of few applicants to be accepted.  The Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule was a progressive school of applied arts that focused mainly on architecture, furniture, crafts and modern design. Unlike the more prestigious and traditional Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the Kunstgewerbeschule was dominated by instructors of the Vienna Secession. Kokoschka studied there from 1904 to 1909, and was influenced by his teacher Carl Otto Czeschka in developing an original style.
Painter, printmaker, dramatist. Performance of his early Expressionist play, Murderer, Hope of Women, at the 1909 Kunstschau exhibition scandalized Vienna. Had been promoted early on by the Wiener Werkstätte, which published his fairy tale Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys) in 1908, the first of several books he wrote and illustrated. But friendship with architect and critic Adolf Loos decisively influenced his turn away from decorative influences, toward an expressive, gestural style of painting in portraits and other figurative scenes. From 1910, was in contact with Expressionist circles in Berlin, including Herwarth Walden, who reproduced many of Kokoschka’s drawings and texts in his journal Der Sturm. Volunteered for Austrian army in World War I; seriously wounded in 1915. From 1916 to 1931, was supported by Paul Cassirer (and following his death, his gallery), who published many of his prints. Moved to Dresden in 1917 and taught at the art academy there from 1919 until 1923. Later resettled in Vienna, where he lived from 1931 to 1934.
Weidinger, Alfred, and Alice Strobl. Oskar Kokoschka: Die Zeichnungen und Aquarelle 1897–1916. Salzburg: Galerie Welz, 2008.
Oskar Kokoschka, Das druckgraphische Werk, Hans Wingler and Friedrich Welz (ed.), Salzburg 1975
During his stay in Dresden, Kokoschka increasingly occupied himself with portrait lithography. His subjects at the time included Max Reinhardt, Hermine Körner and Tilla Durieux, with whom the artist maintained a close friendly or professional relationship.