(b Vienna, 12 July 1886; d Limoges, 1 Feb 1971).
Austrian photomontagist, painter, photographer, printmaker, writer and theorist. He
trained in the academic artistic tradition under his father, Victor
Hausmann (1859–1920). In 1900 he went to Berlin, where he later became a
central figure in Dada. His important friendship with the eccentric
architect and mystical artist Johannes Baader (1875–1956) began in 1905.
In the first years of the next decade he was associated with such artists
as Erich Heckel and Ludwig Meidner and produced numerous paintings,
including Blue Nude (1916; Rochechouart, Mus. Dépt.), and woodcuts,
several of which were published in his book Material der Malerei
Plastik Architektur (Berlin, 1918). These works blended Expressionism
with the influences of artists then exhibiting at Herwarth Walden’s Sturm-Galerie:
Fernand Léger, Alexander Archipenko, Robert Delaunay and Sonia Delaunay,
Arthur Segal and others. Around 1915 his widening contacts with the
writers Salomon Friedländer and Franz Jung led to innumerable theoretical
and satirical writings that were published in Der Sturm, Die
Aktion, Die freie Strasse and other magazines of the era.
Hausmann’s views reflected a diversity of influences ranging from
biologist Ernst Haeckel and psychologist Otto Gross, to Nietzsche and
Henri Bergson, to Eastern philosophers including Laozi, and to such
anarchists as Max Stirner. In 1915 he also met Hans Richter and Hannah
Höch; Höch became Hausmann’s close companion until 1922. By 1917 he was
associated with Richard Huelsenbeck, George Grosz, John Heartfield and
Wieland Herzfelde, who together formed the nucleus of Dada in Berlin