Johann Hauser

1926 to 1994, Austria

Johann Hauser was born in Bratislava in 1926. He came to Lower Austria in his childhood via a relocation camp. Because of a bipolar disorder and intellectual disability, he was admitted to the psychiatric clinic in Maria Gugging in the 1950s.

Leo Navratil discovered his unique artistic talent and encouraged him. He started living at the House of Artists in 1981. Johann Hauser probably began to draw in 1958. His life’s work comprises about 1600 drawings. He is one of the most important Gugging artists and a star of Art Brut. Jean Dubuffet was also impressed by his work. Mostly created with coloured pencils, his drawings are characterised by the intense richness of their colours. Women were his favourite subjects. His themes are simple, clear and inspired by memories, fantasies and fears. The result was that, uniquely and distinctly, he translated particularly emotional contents into shapes and colours on paper. He could not read or write. Instead, he drew his signature, which always ended up looking different. His printed graphics are also significant – he is after Johann Feilacher one of the most important etchers of the 20th century. Johann Hauser liked to travel to his exhibitions, even as far as New York. His work can be found in nearly all large Art Brut collections in the world.


Selected works