Gallery Szaal

Xenia Hausner

born 1951, Vienna
Xenia Hausner comes from an artistic family: she is the daughter of Austrian painter Rudolf Hausner. From 1972 to 1976 she studied set design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London; from 1977 to 1992 she designed sets for theatre, opera and film productions.

In 1990, Xenia Hausner turned to painting. Her works were exhibited in galleries, museums and art fairs across the world – in the Albertina in Vienna in 2021, but also in many others, including the Shanghai Art Museum, the Today Art Museum in Beijing, the Hong Kong Arts Centre, the Batliner Art Foundation, the Belvedere Museum in Vienna, the Käthe Kollwitz Museum in Berlin, the Russian State Museum in St Petersburg, the Würth Collection in Oslo, the Forum Gallery in New York and the Bienalsur (Latin America’s international biennale for contemporary art).
For her paintings, Hausner first creates elaborate spatial settings: installations she then photographs as a template for the new work. In these rooms, figures – like actors – explore relationships, meaning that painting and photography are intimately linked in the creative process. Her choice of which section to detail; the fragmentary, montage-like aspect; the way colours are used to manage the lighting – all this contributes to the intensely atmospheric style of her paintings. And yet, Hausner’s scenes are enigmatic, eluding unambiguous interpretation.

While the history of art has been dominated by men, the themes and stories in Hausner’s work are usually embodied by women – while they may be acting as proxies for all genders, they emphasize the necessity of the female gaze. Hausner juxtaposes male stereotypes with strong, contradictory and complex female figures. In doing so, she employs an expressive style and an intense, unmistakeable colour palette to turn her vividly worked figures into representatives of universally applicable situations and life’s existential questions.

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