Born in Stuttgart, Germany 1924, Robert Hausser is a widely known and influential photographer in his native country. His work has been extensively exhibited and published in both Europe and America with more than 80 solo and group shows to date. Hausser has won numerous awards including the prestigious Hasselblad International Photography Prize in 1995.
Bird in Park 1954
Hausser was brought up on a farm and worked as a farmer following WW2, this in turn became the subject of his early photojournalist/ documentary work. He initially studied Graphic Design in the 1940’s and considered use of formal devices can be seen as a powerful force in his photography. There are certain similarities to be found in the photography of Bill Brandt, Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan around the same period (1950’s).
Bill Brandt 1948
Aaron Siskind Martha's Vineyard 1954-59
Harry Callahan 1950
They were all working with strong composition, stark contrast and a sense of abstraction, influenced to greater and lesser degrees by surrealism and constructivism. Also at work is the style and application of darkroom techniques which have a substantial impact on these images.
Strasse Der Fabrik 1980
While many photographers add drama by burning in skies and features surrounding their main subject, Hausser does the opposite. He either holds back some of the low and mid tone information and does not generally bring in the sky, creating an almost blank canvas on which to put his very well placed subjects. His other technique is to heavily burn in the mid tones to create almost solid blocks of black space.
Signaled Order 1960
Hausser has developed his style over a 50 year period and has never strayed from black and white. He has worked with a number of subjects including portraiture, documentary, the nude, constructed images (with and without figures) but he is probably best known for his peripheral landscapes.
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