November 19, 2019 - January 3, 2020

Xenia Hausner: Behind the Scenes

Austrian Cultural Forum New York
Loft Gallery Space, 11th Floor
11 East 52nd Street, New York
open Monday to Friday,
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

About The Show

In conjunction with her exhibition at Forum Gallery, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York is pleased to present “Xenia Hausner: Behind the Scenes”, a spotlight show that shines a light on the photographic work of the artist and offers rare insights into her creative process. While Forum Gallery showcases Hausner’s first US exhibition of her paintings in a decade, the ACFNY show investigates the medium that Hausner considers to be the starting point of her paintings and the basis of her visual inventions. Before the first brushstroke, Hausner uses photography to meticulously stage the scene in her studio, creating complex spatial settings which accommodate her predominately female figures and which are distinctive of her oeuvre.

The staged character of these photographs and paintings reflects Hausner’s background as a stage designer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Through the medium of photography, Hausner explores concepts, stories and scenic and dramaturgic compositions and orchestrates them into her characteristic format of the cut-out. In this photographically curated interplay between setting, figures and fragmentation Hausner’s paintings unfold their atmospheric character and display moments of intimacy, fragmentation and ephemerality.

The photograph, however, is not necessarily a prefiguration or preview of the painting. In a conversation with Jessa Crispin, the artist states that although photographs always precede her paintings, the paintings often become contradictions of the photographs. According to Hausner, this focus on contradictions is already inherent in the subject of her paintings which she calls “fragments of life”. Hausner depicts fleeting moments and frequently suggests that they develop and continue outside of the frame.  These “fragments of life” oscillate between their stageness and the authenticity of the model. Jessa Crispin highlights: “These are portraits but they are portraits of characters, and the result is somewhere between the model and the character Hausner constructs for them. They are themselves, they are not themselves. They are pretending. They are dead serious.”

About The Artist

Born in Vienna, Austria in 1951, Xenia Hausner is an internationally recognized artist well known for her large enigmatic portraits, often of women, portrayed with the artist’s expressionistic use of vibrant, dynamic color. Having traveled all over the world, Hausner incorporates into her artwork the materials and mental memories collected on her travels as well as photographs of what she has seen throughout her journeys.

Xenia Hausner began her working life as a stage designer in Vienna and since 1992, has devoted all of her time to easel painting. Xenia Hausner has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Kunsthaus Wien, Austria; Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany; Rupertinum, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria; Käthe-Kollwitz Museum, Berlin, Germany; The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; the Shanghai Art Museum and the Today Art Museum in China.

In May 2019, Xenia Hausner was included in an exhibition “Displaced: Stories in Motion” at the Ducal Palace Museum Complex at the National Archaeological Museum of Matua, Italy. Recently, Xenia Hausner was awarded a solo exhibition at The Albertina Museum in Vienna, to open in April 2020.

Hausner’s paintings are included in major museum collections throughout Europe, and three monographs have been published on the Artist’s work, two of which have appeared in English as well as German.

Installation Views

For high resolution images, please contact


For the special exhibition opening of Xenia Hausner: Behind the Scenes on November 18, the artist will discuss her practice with writer Jessa Crispin


Images: David Plakke

Tue ‒ Thu: 09am ‒ 07pm
Fri ‒ Mon: 09am ‒ 05pm

Adults: $25
Children & Students free

673 12 Constitution Lane Massillon
781-562-9355, 781-727-6090