Otto Schatz (1900–1961) and Carry Hauser (1895–1985) may have been overshadowed by their more famous contemporaries such as Schiele and Kokoschka, but their artwork remains a compelling reflection of a turbulent era. War, exile, and the radically shifting terrain of twentieth-century political systems left their mark on the artists’ biographies. The exhibition reacquaints visitors with these two significant Austrian artists active principally in the realm of drawing and printmaking. Placing the work of Schatz and Hauser into dialogue opens up discussions about a broad spectrum of artistic expression ranging from Cubism, Expressionism and New Objectivity to the realism of the postwar years. Dominant themes include human existence in an age of extremes and the metropolis in its various guises – from pulsating life to misery and isolation.
In 1938, the National Socialists decreed an employment ban on Otto Rudolf Schatz, who subsequently emigrated with his Jewish wife Valerie Wittal to Brno and to Prague. In 1944 the couple was interned, but later liberated by Soviet troops.
Carry Hauser was banned by the National Socialists from working and exhibiting because of his political stance. His wife, Gertrud Herzog-Hauser, was of Jewish origin and emigrated to the Netherlands, where she managed to survive the war. Hauser went into exile in Switzerland.
The Wien Museum maintains the largest public collection of works from both artists, with first-rate works from international lenders rounding out the exhibition. Also on display are rarities from private collections such as artists’ books illustrated and bound by Schatz and Hauser themselves, along with previously unknown designs for public art on buildings.
Dates: 28 January 2016 to 16 May 2016