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Kiki O.K.
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Bleiburg, Austria
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
An Austrian artist associated with the Pop-Art movement of the 1960s, Kiki Kogelnik was a painter, sculptor and printmaker who also worked with vinyl cut-outs, fiberglass, ceramics and glass. Her colorful works were inspired by such sources as space travel, science fiction and feminist issues. One of the artists who created color lithographs for Walasse Ting’s (1929-2010) artists’ book 1¢ Life in 1964, she signed her print “Kiki O.K.” Born in 1935 in Bleiburg, a small town in southern Austria, she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1954 to 1958. Kogelnik was one of the circle of avant-garde artists associated with Vienna’s Galerie Nächst St. Stephan, where she had her first exhibition. She was briefly engaged to Arnulf Rainer (b. 1929), another artist of that circle. Kogelnik moved to Paris in 1959 and then to New York in 1961, where she became part of the circle of artists that included Sam Francis (1923-1994), Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), and Andy Warhol (1928-1987), many of whom contributed lithographs to 1¢ Life. Kogelnik’s variation on Pop Art included life-sized paper and vinyl cutouts of human figures displayed as “hangings.” Her first New York exhibition appeared in 1965. In 1966 she married George Schwarz, a radiation oncologist practicing in New York, who later owned several restaurants in New York City, which Kogelnik helped to design. Later in her career she experimented with ceramics, and used ceramic elements in her paintings. The feminist movement of the 1970s led her to create ironic works commenting on portrayals of women in advertising and the media. She later maintained homes and studios in New York, her native Bleiburg and Vienna, where she died of cancer in 1997. (TNB 3/2014) Selected bibliography: Stief, Angela and Martin Walkner, eds. Power Up: Female Pop Art. Exhibition catalog, pp. 180-203, 278-279. Vienna: Kunsthalle; Cologne: DuMont Buchverlag, 2010.