The World of Art at the UN in Vienna

    Rudolf Hausner

    Rudolf Hausner

    Rudolf Hausner (1914-1995) was an Austrian painter, draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor. Hausner has been described as a 'psychic realist' and 'the first psychoanalytical painter'.

    Hausner studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1931 until 1936. After he was designated a 'degenerate' artist in 1938, exhibition of his work was banned in Germany. He was a soldier from 1941 until 1945. Before allying himself with and co-founding the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism his works were mainly Expressionist-influenced images of suburbs, still-lifes, and female models, most of which he destroyed.

    In 1946 he founded a surrealist group together with Edgar Jené, Ernst Fuchs, Wolfgang Hutter and Fritz Janschka. They were later joined by Arik Brauer and Anton Lehmden. A key work of this period, "It's me!", shows his awareness of Pittura Metafisica and Surrealism in a psychoanalytical painting where the elongated being in the foreground penetrates what was apparently a real landscape, until it tears like a backdrop.

    His masterpiece, The Ark of Odysseus, was completed in 1956 after working on the painting for six years. The Ark of Odysseus (1948-1951 and 1953-1956), depicts the hero as a self-portrait and was a precursor to the series of Adam paintings in which Hausner painted his own features.

    In 1957, Hausner painted his first 'Adam' picture. He came into conflict with the Surrealist orthodoxy, who condemned as heretical his attempt to give equal importance to both conscious and unconscious processes. In 1959 he co-founded the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism together with his old surrealism group members: Ernst Fuchs, Wolfgang Hutter, Anton Lehmden, Arik Brauer, and Fritz Janschka. In 1962, Hausner met Paul Delvaux, René Magritte, Victor Brauner, and Dorothea Tanning while traveling in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.

    Hausner was awarded the Austrian State Prize for Painting in 1970.

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