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Raoul Hausmann correspondence, 1909-1971 (bulk 1960-1970)

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Finding aid for the Raoul Hausmann correspondence, 1909-1971, bulk 1960-1970

Biographical/Historical Note

1886: Born on June 12th in Wein; trains with his father Viktor Hausmann, an academic painter.

1900: Moves with his parents to Berlin where he dedicates himself to the study of painting and assists his father with the Hamburg City Hall murals.

1912: Takes part in the first German Herbstsalon des Sturm and begins working for the Expressionist newspaper Der Sturm.

1917-1918: Is employed by the leftist-pacifist newspapers Die Freie Straßs and Die Aktion. Co-founds Club Dada, Berlin; invents the optophonetic poem and photomontage; publishes his first Dada Manifesto; organizes the first Dada Soireen in Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, and Prague, with Huelsenbeck, Heartfield, Grosz, Jung, Höch.

1919-1920: Edits volume No.3 of the journal Dada (Malik-Verlag) with Grosz and Heartfield and organizes the Große Internationale Dada-Messe at the Galerie Nierendorf, Berlin. Breaks with Grosz and Heartfield after they join the Communist Party, effectively ending Club Dada.

1921: Holds an Anti-Dada Abend in Prague with Kurt Schwitters; formulates his article "Presentismus gegen den Puffkeismus der teuschen Seele," and signs the Aufruf zur Elementaren Kunst with Arp, Maholy-Nagy and Istvan.

1922: Establishes close contact with the Constructivists and circle of the Hungarian exile newspaper MA (Lajos Kassak). Takes part in activities of Progressive Artists in Düsselsdorf and Köln. Relinquishes painting and dedicates himself to the technical investigation of electro-acoustical optics; invents the "optophone," a device that synchronizes sound and light waves (this invention was rejected in Berlin but patented in London, 1935).

1923-1930: Publishes articles investigating the organic conception of art and social science; works for the satirical newspaper Die Pleite; begins his novel Hyle and undertakes systematic work in photography.

1931-1932: Delivers the opening lecture at the photographic exhibition in the Kunstbibliothek, Berlin; publishes several articles on the subject of photographic theory, most notably "Wie sieht der Fotograf? -Gespräch zwischen Raoul Hausmann und Werner Gräff," Das Deutsche Lichtbild (Berlin, 1932).

1933-1936: Flees Germany on March 1st to the island of Ibiza, where he undertakes intensive photographic analysis of ethnological themes, archeology and indigenous architecture. Completes Hyle and begins publishing photographs in the Swiss journal Camera and in Man Ray's album Nus.

1936: Flees Spain for Zürich and later immigrates to Prague, establishing contact with the Czech avantgarde and exiled Germans; experiments with infrared photography.

1938: Returns to Paris; continues publishing his photographs, and establishes contact with Moholy-Nagy to arrange a publication of his photos in the US.

1939: Upon outbreak of war, flees to Peyrat-le-Château (Haute-Vienne) where he teaches languages and eventually finds refuge in the French town of Limoges (1944).

1945: Re-establishes contact and correspondence with his close friends (Moholy-Nagy, Schwitters, Hans Richter, Richard Huelsenbeck); plans with Schwitters to establish an avantgarde journal called PIN; returns to painting and the production of abstract photograms and photo-pictograms.

1948: Begins the publication of numerous articles on the subject of modern poetry in French literary journals.

1953: Exhibits his abstract photo-experiments in the Kunstschule Saarbrücken with the assistance of Otto Steinert.

1958: Takes part in the famous Dada exhibition in Frankfurt-Düsseldorf which instigated the Fluxus movement.

1967: First large retrospective of his artwork, in the Modern Museum, Stockholm.

1969: Publishes MELANOgraphie, a collection of photographic light experiments from 1931; publishes Hyle.

1970: Publishes a series of articles from 1920-1970 under the title Sensorialité excentrique in cooperation with Henri Chopin.

1971: Publishes his final book Sagemorim. Dies on February 1st in Limoges, France.




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