Raoul Hausmann

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Raoul Hausmann, second from left (with bow tie) in the group photo for the International Congress of Progressive Artists in Düsseldorf, 1922

Raoul Hausmann (born July 12, 1886 in Vienna , † February 1, 1971 in Limoges ) was an Austrian - German artist of Dadaism .


Raoul Hausmann was born in Vienna in 1886 as the son of the painter Victor Hausmann and his wife Irene and came to Berlin with his parents at the age of 14 . Raoul Hausmann received instructions from his father for his first artistic attempts. In 1905 he met the tomb and garden architect Johannes Baader and the violinist Elfriede Schaeffer (1876–1952), whom he married in 1908. Their daughter Vera is born in 1907.

From 1908 to 1911, Hausmann completed an artistic training in the study studios for painting and sculpture in (Berlin-) Charlottenburg , headed by Arthur Lewin-Funcke . Between 1909 and 1914 he designed Art Nouveau book covers (e.g. for Diederichs Verlag, Jena), drafts of glass windows and fonts.

From 1912 Hausmann turned away from academism , and the first expressionist lithographs and woodcuts were made, inspired by the acquaintance with the painters of the Brücke and the reception of the futurists in exhibitions at the Berlin gallery Der Sturm. First text publications in Der Sturm magazine follow.

In 1915 Hausmann began a love affair with the artist Hannah Höch , which lasted until 1922. He met the artists Hans Richter , Conrad Felixmüller and Arthur Segal and made the acquaintance of the philosopher Salomo Friedlaender , known as Mynona.

In 1918 Hausmann founded the Berlin club Dada together with Richard Huelsenbeck , Johannes Baader and others. He became an important member of the Dada movement in Berlin, of which he belonged from 1918 to 1922. Hausmann is co-editor of the magazine Der Dada and the prospectus Club Dada . At Dada events he publicly reads his manifestos and sound poems for the first time . His optophonetic poster poems are printed. From 1917 he lived and worked in Berlin with Hannah Höch, with whom he developed the artistic photomontage . Hausmann made friends in Kurt Schwitters , Hans Arp and Otto Freundlich .

In 1919 Hausmann took part in the first Dada exhibition in the Graphisches Kabinett IB Neumann. In 1920 Hausmann organized Dadaist events together with Johannes Baader and Richard Huelsenbeck in Dresden , Hamburg , Leipzig , Teplitz-Schönau , Prague and Karlsbad . In July / August 1919 the first international Dada fair takes place in the Berlin art dealer of Dr. Otto Burchard, hosted by Hausmann together with George Grosz and John Heartfield .

In 1921 Hausmann appeared together with Kurt Schwitters on the Antidada Merz Presentism tour in Prague with the recitation of his phonetic poems. He is involved in the November group , exhibits it to me and gives the group's publications the title NG with a content reorientation .

In 1922 Hausmann and Hannah Höch split up; he met the painter Hedwig Mankiewitz (1893–1974), whom he married in 1923 after divorcing his first wife Elfriede Hausmann-Schaeffer.

In 1926 the conception and writing of the autobiographical experimental novel Hyle was created on the island of Sylt . From 1927 Hausmann devoted himself primarily to photography. He met Vera Broïdo (1907-2004), with whom he and his wife lived in a three-way relationship until 1934. From 1931 onwards he also regularly contributed to the magazine Der Opposite published by Franz Jung and Harro Schulze-Boysen .

In 1933, Hausmann had to emigrate because the National Socialists counted his artistic work as " degenerate art ". His stations in exile are Ibiza , Zurich , Prague and finally Paris , from where he fled to southern France during the war.

Hausmann has lived in Limoges since 1944 , where he died in 1971 of complications from jaundice .

After the Second World War, Hausmann again sought contact with László Moholy-Nagy and Kurt Schwitters, with whom he was planning to publish the magazine PIN . Between 1946 and 1959, Hausmann expanded his photographic work to include experiments without a camera ( photograms , photo pictograms) and returned to photomontage. In retrospectively dealing with Dada, he endeavors to fix his own role and significance for the Dadaist movement as a chronicler.

Documentary and artistic estate

Berlinische Galerie

In addition to the partial documentary estate, the Berlinische Galerie collection also includes works of art by Hausmann. In addition to early paintings, this also includes around 60 works on paper from the years 1911 to 1930 as well as over 350 photographic works.

The partial documentary estate was acquired by the museum in 1992 and includes primarily evidence of Raoul Hausmann's life and his activities in Berlin up to his emigration in 1933 as well as the correspondence with Elfriede and Vera Hausmann up to Raoul Hausmann's death.

In addition to biographical documents, the partial estate consists largely of correspondence. These document, among other things. Hausmann's intellectual exchange with contemporaries, including Johannes Baader , Adolf Behne , César Domela-Nieuwenhuis, Otto Freundlich , Werner Gräff , Franz Jung , Ludwig Mies van der Rohe , László Moholy-Nagy , Hans Richter , Franz Roh , Kurt Schwitters , Arthur Segal and Franz Wilhelm Seifert . The typewritten business correspondence is received as a carbon copy and a reply letter.

In addition, manuscripts and texts by Hausmann (and third parties) on art, culture and philosophy as well as technical and scientific studies have survived in the partial estate.

The main focus of the literary texts is the novel manuscript Hyle , whose stages of development are documented in manuscripts and typescripts.

Musée d'Art Contemporain de la Haute Vienne Rochechouart

The Musée Départemental d'Art Contemporain in the castle of Rochechouart in France keeps the second part of the documentary estate of Raoul Hausmann. In 1993 the museum acquired around 6,000 letters, most of Hausmann's correspondence from the 1940s to his death in 1971. In 1995, this part of the documentary estate came to the museum together with a large number of unpublished texts, including theoretical and poetical writings, Typescripts and notebooks. In 1996, the inventory in the museum in Rochechouart was expanded by the purchase of more than 1,200 photo negatives and contact sheets.


Raoul Hausmann created an oeuvre with a wide range of media including paintings , collages , sculptures and text works (including Dadaist manifestos ). Together with Hannah Höch he is considered a pioneer of photo collages . He turned to this new technique during the First World War , after rejecting the earlier expressionist orientation of his work. With his poem fmsbw he inspired Kurt Schwitters to write his Ursonate .

Conversely, stimulated by his friendship with Schwitters, he experimented with phonetic poems and typography. From June 30th to August 25th, 1920 he organized the First International Dada Fair in Berlin together with George Grosz and John Heartfield, which was the highlight and last major public appearance of the Berlin Dada group. After his separation from Hannah Höch in 1922, he stopped painting and concentrated on photography and writing poetry . In 1926 he began his novel Hyle during a stay in Ibiza . After the war he continued to work in the three areas of painting, photography and writing. He participated in the historical interpretation of Dadaism in a large number of exhibitions and publications.

Work examples
  • 1919: Gurk. Arntz Art Archive, The Hague
  • 1919: Mechanical head - the spirit of our time. Center Pompidou, Paris
  • 1920: The central room of the first international Dada fair is now reconstructed in the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin.


“Oh, gentlemen philistines, you say that art is in danger? Yes, don't you know that art is a beautiful female figure, without clothes that she expects to be taken to bed, or to encourage her to do so? No, gentlemen, art is not in danger - because art no longer exists! She is dead."

- Raoul Hausmann : The Dada , 1919


  • Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! Twelve satires. Malik, Berlin 1921.
  • Chippings. Petersen Press, Flensburg 1962.
  • Hyle. A dream to be in Spain. New edition, ed. and with an afterword by Adelheid Koch-Didier. Belleville, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-936298-03-1 . (First edition by Heinrich Heine, Düsseldorf 1969.)
  • Hans / Jean Arp. Edited by Adelheid Koch-Didier. Belleville, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-936298-70-3 .
  • Karl Riha , Günter Kämpf (ed.): Raoul Hausmann: In the beginning there was Dada. 3rd, completely redesigned edition. Anabas, Giessen 1992, ISBN 3-87038-166-3 . (First edition of this edition 1972).
  • Michael Erlhoff (Ed.): Texts up to 1933, Volume 1. Balance of the celebration. Edition Text and Criticism, München 1982, ISBN 978-3-88377-092-5 .
  • Michael Erlhoff (Ed.): Texts up to 1933, Volume 2. Victory Triumph Tobacco with Beans. Edition Text and Criticism, München 1982, ISBN 978-3-88377-113-7 .
  • Karl Riha (Ed.): Tatü Dada - Dada and again Dada until today (essays and documents). Wolke, Hofheim 1987, ISBN 978-3-923997-19-0 .
  • Mind in the blink of an eye - Dadasophic poetry. Edition Nautilus, Hamburg 1989, ISBN 978-3-89401-163-5 .
  • Eva Züchner (Ed.): Executioner of the bourgeois soul: Raoul Hausmann in Berlin 1900–1933. Unpublished letters, texts, documents from the artist archives of the Berlinische Galerie. Hatje, Ostfildern 1998, ISBN 3-7757-0549-X .
  • Raoul Hausmann: Change. Edited by Adelheid Koch. Haymon, Innsbruck 2001, ISBN 978-3-85218-255-1 .
  • Hans Arp, Raoul Hausmann, Kurt Schwitters: Dada Antidada Merz. Audio CD. Hörsturz Booksound, ISBN 978-3-934847-16-3 .
  • Arndt Niebisch (Ed.): Dada Science. Scientific and technical writings. FUNDUS Volume 19. Philo Fine Arts, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-86572-657-5 . (Unpublished texts from the Raoul Hausmann archive, Berlinische Galerie).
  • Photographic vision. Writings on photography 1921-1968. Wilhelm Fink, Paderborn 2016, ISBN 978-3-7705-5979-4 .

Radio play editing


  • Hildegrund Amanshauser, Monika Faber (ed.): Against the cold view of the world. Raoul Hausmann - Photographs 1927–1933. Exhibition catalog. Series of publications of the Austrian Photo Archive 3 and 4, Vienna 1986, (without ISBN).
  • Riccardo Bavaj : Against the citizen, for (experiencing) life. Raoul Hausmann and Berlin Dadaism against the “Weimar approach to life”. In: German Studies Review. 31 (2008), pp. 513-536.
  • Kurt Bartsch, Adelheid Koch: Dossier 10: Raoul Hausmann. Droschl, Graz / Vienna 1996, ISBN 3-85420-433-7 .
  • Kurt Bartsch, Ralf Burmeister, Adelheid Koch-Didier, Stefan Schwar: Raoul Hausmann (1886–1971). Catalog of works - biography - bibliography. Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 2012, ISBN 978-3-7728-2239-1 .
  • Timothy O. Benson: Raoul Hausmann and Berlin Dada. UMI Research Press, Ann Arbor 1987.
  • Hanne Bergius : Dada's laugh. The Berlin Dadaists and their actions. Anabas-Verlag, Giessen 1989, ISBN 978-3-8703-8141-7 .
  • Hanne Bergius: assembly and metamechanics. Dada Berlin - Aesthetics of Polarities. With a reconstruction of the First International Dada Fair and Dada Chronology. Gebr. Mann Verlag, Berlin 2000, ISBN 978-3-7861-1525-0 .
  • Hanne Bergius: Dada triumphs! Dada Berlin, 1917-1923 (= Artistry of Polarities. Montages - Metamechanics - Manifestations. Translated by Brigitte Pichon.) Stephen Foster (Ed.): Crisis and the Arts. The History of Dada. Vol. V. Homson / Gale, New Haven, Conn. i.a. 2003, ISBN 978-0-816173-55-6 .
  • Cornelia Frenkel: Raoul Hausmann: artist, researcher, philosopher. Röhrig, St. Ingbert 1996, ISBN 3-86110-095-9 .
  • Michael Erlhoff : Raoul Hausmann, Dadasoph: Attempt to politicize aesthetics. Publishing house, Hanover 1982, ISBN 3-923573-00-6 .
  • Andreas house: Raoul Hausmann: camera photographs 1927–1957. Schirmer / Mosel, Munich 1979, ISBN 3-921375-40-1 .
  • Kestnergesellschaft (ed.): Raoul Hausmann: Retrospective. Kestner Society, Hanover 1981, (without ISBN).
  • Adelheid Koch: After all, I'm Austria's greatest experimenter: Raoul Hausmann, Dada and Neodada. Haymon, Innsbruck 1994, ISBN 3-85218-180-1 .
  • Andrej Nakov et al. The Twenties in Berlin: Johannes Baader, George Grosz, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Hoch. London 1978.
  • Eberhard Roters : Fabricatio nihili or the production of nothing: Dada meditations. Argon-Verl., Berlin 1990.
  • Hélène Thiérard: Hylé I et Hylé II de Raoul Hausmann: des ensembles textuels autobiographiques en mouvement. Paris 2016.
  • Eva Züchner (Ed.): The German philistine is annoyed. Raoul Hausmann 1886–1971. Exhibition catalog Berlinische Galerie. Hatje, Ostfildern 1994, ISBN 3-7757-0518-X .
  • Eva Züchner (Ed.): We want the world to be moving and flexible. Raoul Hausmann Symposium of the Berlinische Galerie. ISBN 3-927873-42-X .

Web links

Commons : Raoul Hausmann  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Eva Züchner: Executioner of the bourgeois soul - Raoul Hausmann in Berlin 1900-1933, unpublished letters, texts, documents from the artist archives of the Berlinische Galerie , Berlin 1998, ISBN 978-3-7757-0549-3 , pp. 25 ff .
  2. Eva Züchner (Ed.): Executioner of the bourgeois soul - Raoul Hausmann in Berlin 1900-1933 . Berlin 1998, ISBN 978-3-7757-0549-3 , pp. 20 .
  3. Collection Online | Berlinische Galerie | Your museum for modern and contemporary art in Berlin. Retrieved January 18, 2021 .
  4. ^ DADA Berlin. Retrieved January 18, 2021 .
  5. ^ The Raoul Hausmann resource library. Retrieved January 18, 2021 .
  6. ^ BR radio play Pool - Raoul Hausmann, Hyle