Oskar Gawell was born on February 19 1888 in Chawlodno, Prussia, today Poland.
He devoted himself to his work, especially to landscape painting. Gawell preferred case designs with lakes, boats, and houses. From 1909 to 1912 he studied at the academies in Wroclaw and Weimar. 1913/14 he was in Berlin and a pupil of Lovis Corinth. At the first exhibition of the Free Secession Berlin 1914 he was represented with works alongside Max Oppenheimer, Max Pechstein, Pablo Picasso, and Camille Pissarro.
From Weimar he undertook trips to the artists' colony Nida on the Curonian Spit, where he is said to have repeatedly painted in the 1920s. In 1926 he worked in Positano. He was friends with Marc Chagall and Oskar Kokoschka and exhibited in 1927 together with Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff in Zwickau.
From 1938 he was based in Vienna. He received the Austrian citizenship in 1947 and he was rewarded the title of professor of the Vienna Academy in 1949. In 1946 he became a member of the Vienna Secession. Today Gawell's works among others can be found in the Belvedere and the Leopold Museum in Vienna. Oskar Gawell died on the 14th of March 1955 in Vienna.