Raoul Hausmann  

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Raoul Hausmann (July 12, 1886 – February 1, 1971) was an Austrian artist and writer. One of the key figures in Berlin Dada, his experimental photographic collages, sound poetry and institutional critiques would have a profound influence on the European avant-garde in the aftermath of World War I.

He is best-known for his sculpture Mechanischer Kopf (1920), an assemblage of a hairdresser's wig-making dummy with various measuring devices attached.


He was born in Vienna but moved to Berlin and became a co-founder of the Berlin Dada movement in 1917. He was one of the Berlin dadaists who created photographic collages out of cut-up photographs in the summer of 1918. Hausmann, along with German Dadaists George Grosz, Helmut Hertzfelde aka John Heartfield, and Hannah Höch, pushed the idea of the photographic collage and the use of mass-printed source material by inventing photomontage.

A photomontage results when a photographic collage—made by arranging and glueing photographs or other found illustrative material onto a surface—is photographed so that the final image is converted back into a photographic print. Both processes involve selection, placement and sometimes embellishment, which sets them apart from the photographic record, no matter how much this "record" is distorted by the photographic apparatus or by subsequent techniques of developing.

Although he painted Tatlin at Home in 1920 as part of the Berlin Dada movement, Hausmann gave up painting in 1923 to concentrate on experimental photographic procedures. In The Art Critic the orange brick background is probably from one of Hausmann's phonetic poem posters intended to be stuck on walls all over Berlin. The figure over giant head and pen is stamped "Portrait constructed of George Grosz 1920", and is probably a magazine photograph of Hausmann's colleague, Grosz.


  • 1919 – Gurk, Kunstarchiv Arntz, Den Haag
  • 1919 – Mechanischer Kopf – Der Geist unserer Zeit, Centre Pompidou, Paris
  • 1920 – Der zentrale Raum der "Ersten internationalen Dada-Messe" ist heute in der Berlinischen Galerie, Berlin, rekonstruiert zu begehen.

See also

Organised by Grosz, Heartfield and Hausmann, the fair was to become the most famous of all Berlin Dada's exploits, featuring almost 200 works by artists including Francis Picabia, Hans Arp, Ernst and Rudolf Schlichter, as well as key works by Grosz, Höch and Hausmann. The work Tatlin At Home, 1920, can be clearly seen in one of the publicity photos taken by a professional photographer; the exhibition, whilst financially unsuccessful, gained prominent exposure in Amsterdam, Milan, Rome and Boston. The exhibition also proved to be one of the main influences on the content and layout of Entartete Kunst, the show of degenerate art put on by the Nazis in 1937, with key slogans such as "Nehmen Sie DADA Ernst", "Take Dada Seriously!", appearing in both exhibitions.

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