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Viviane Sassen begeistert seit Jahren die Modefotowelt. Auch sie arbeitet in erster Linie mit dem menschlichen Körper, etwa indem...


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Top-News  |  19. November 2015

RUDOLF HAUSNER

Fantastic realist and psychoanalytic painter

Although the late Ernst Fuchs probably appealed the strongest to the crowd and to his fellow-artists, it is actually another representative of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism who provides the most eye-opening clues into this art movement: Rudolf Hausner, who was born in Vienna in 1914.

One of his works in particular shows this quality. A painting called „Forum der einwärts gewendeten Optik“ (Forum of Inward-turned Optics). It is one of only a few early paintings which have been preserved. Hausner painted over many of his works which were created between 1945 and 1947, or even destroyed them. He created the “Forum”, which is now at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, in 1949 and later said that it could truly be regarded as the sum of his life. He elaborated that it showed the basic figurines of whom he was composed of. When looking at the painting, one is faced with surrealistic image contents which seem very cryptic and hard to decipher at first sight, and bear a resemblance to Salvador Dalí’s Surrealism. It seems as if the different figures and objects within the picture had been randomly put next to each other and bore no relationship to each other. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes evident that each figurine and each form has an artistic and content-related function.

On the left side, a boy in a sailor suit comes rushing into the picture, unmistakably bearing Hausner’s facial features. The boy is about to catch a ball which is passed to him by a tennis racket. He is surrounded by toys, which symbolize his childhood. At the center of the picture the bust of a man refers to his father, whose consistency is a symbol of the once idyllic and secure world of the artist’s family of origin. The boy is moving towards the right side of the picture: Nothing points towards his childhood anymore here, instead there are nude and mysterious figurines presaging an ambiguous and uncertain fate. Hausner painted his inner landscape, his soul, and transformed it into symbolic contents in his works. Not only does he tell and analyze his life in this way, he uses art as a means of obtaining insights and self-knowledge.  

However, Rudolf Hausner had to overcome several obstacles in order to be able to start an artistic career. In 1931, he took up studying the fine arts at the Wiener Akademie. Here, he was to paint still lifes and animals – naturalistic subjects which could not satisfy his need to express his inner life by means of painting. Hausner shut himself away. In 1941, he was called up into the German Wehrmacht. After 1945, he met like-minded artists like Albert Paris Gütersloh and these painters of „Fantastic Realism“ started meeting in Gütersloh’s studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. It was the encounter with this circle which brought a vital turn for Hausner. His ideas of art finally met with appreciation: the renunciation of abstract painting and the return to the techniques of the Old Masters, as well as the attempt at penetrating the inner life of the mind. His first successful exhibitions ensued and later Hausner became a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts. When he died on 25th February 1995, he left an oeuvre which is singular and eludes all established categories of art history.  

 

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