1874 Czernowitz - 1951 Vienna
The son of an architect, Oskar Laske was born in Czernowitz. He studied architecture first at Vienna’s University of Technology and subsequently at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts under Otto Wagner. As an architect, he designed the “Engel-Apotheke”, a famous pharmacy in Vienna’s 1st district, as well as a number of residential houses. He was also responsible for the interior design of the cabaret theatre “Nachtlicht” and created various glass-designs for the renowned Austrian glass-manufacturer Lobmeyer. While still a school-boy, Laske showed a keen interest in painting and took lessons with landscape artist Anton Hlavacek, but it was not until 1904 that he turned this, his true vocation, into his profession. In 1907 he became a member of the Hagenbund, joined the Vienna Secession in 1924 and the Vienna Künstlerhaus in 1939. His œuvre is characterised by a distinct narrative quality. He illustrated a number of books, dealing with various popular subjects, including biblical topics and was also an accomplished stage designer. A lot of the time his works reveal a satirical and humorous undertone, are often abstruse, sometimes bizarre, but always indicative of the artist’s boundless imagination. During his study-trips, which led him all over Europe and as far as North Africa, he created numerous landscapes and vedute in watercolours or gouache. As well as contributing to many exhibitions, Laske’s works were also often shown in solo exhibitions.
E. Tietze-Conrat, "Oskar Laske", Wien 1921; Novotny Fritz, "Oskar Laske. 24 Aquarelle", Wien 1954; "Oskar Laske - Ludwig Heinrich Jungnickel - Franz von Zülow", Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Wien 1978, S. 9-58; C. Reiter, "Oskar Laske", Salzburg 1995, mit Lit.; Ausstellungskatalog des Kunsthaus Wien, "Oskar Laske", Wien 1996; Nachschlagewerke: Thieme-Becker, Vollmer