Rudolf Hausner, Austrian (1914 - 1995)
Rudolf Hausner: A major Austrian painter and printmaker,
Rudolf Hausner studied art at the Academy in Vienna from 1931
to 1936, under Fahringer and Sterrer. Many of his early paintings
were confiscated and branded as 'degenerate' by the ruling nazi
party in 1938. In 1941 Hausner was drafted by the German army
and remained a soldier until the war's end in 1945. After the
war he returned to Vienna and immersed himself in studies dealing
with the unconscious and with the art of Surrealists, particularly
that of Max Ernst. Along with Wolfgang Hutter and Anton Lehmden,
Rudolf Hausner founded the Viennese School of Fantastic Realism
in 1947. During the 1950's and 1960's this became one of Austria's
most important movements and Hausner was its most influential
artist. During this time he also held principal teaching posts
at the academies of Vienna and Hamburg.
Equally gifted as a painter, lithographer and etcher, Hausner's complex art is
based upon potent symbols and imagery. Primary among these is the constantly
recurring image of the first man, Adam, who is part auto-biographical and part
archetype. Another compelling image is that of the man or boy in a sailor's cap.
Hausner claimed that this image symbolized the myth of Odysseus and his epic
voyages on the seas. It also, however, is representative of the artist's own
boyhood and the integrated relationships of youth and age within the self. As
with all of Hausner's monumental works of art, the elements within Adam Bei Sich
demand a lifetime of contemplation and study.